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Jakarta Post

Intentional privacy breach?: Govt considers releasing patients’ personal data

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 14, 2020   /   01:07 pm
Intentional privacy breach?: Govt considers releasing patients’ personal data National COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo, also the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), attends a meeting of House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing social affairs in Jakarta on July 13. (Antara/Aprillio Akbar)

The national COVID-19 task force is considering releasing patients’ personal data in an effort to encourage adherence to health protocols in affected areas. 

Task force chief and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo said such data would only be made available to people living in the patients’ neighborhoods.

"Current regulations don't allow authorities to publish patient data. But if this data could be known by people living in their neighborhoods, it could help the surrounding community prepare preventive actions," Doni said during a meeting with House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing social affairs on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.

He added that such data should be published for the sake of public safety. He also asked people to stop stigmatizing COVID-19 and condemned unjust treatment of people with the illness. 

The task force was also looking for other solutions to help protect people from the disease, Doni said.

Read also: Human rights groups urge privacy protection in COVID-19 contact tracing efforts

While the Constitution requires the state to protect people’s privacy and personal data, the country has never passed a specific law on personal data protection to enumerate the rights of data owners and establish what kinds of data are legally considered personal.

The publication of the country's first two COVID-19 patients' personal data resulted in privacy breaches and assault.

Fear of stigma and ostracism has prevented many people in the country from being tested for COVID-19. (trn)