Our paywall policy:
The Slovak Spectator has decided to leave all the articles about the coronavirus available for everyone. If you appreciate our work and would like to support good journalism, please buy our subscription. We believe this is an issue where accurate and fact-based information is important for people to cope.
A map containing detailed information about patients positively diagnosed with the coronavirus leaked to the internet on the evening of March 30.
Although the data is anonymous, it contains information like age, gender, the date of testing and the street the patient is living on. As a result, some patients can be easily identified, particularly if living in small municipalities, the Sme daily reported.
Data unavailable for now
The map was created based on data from the National Health Information Centre (NCZI), available in machine readable form on the website containing the testing statistics. This means that although ordinary visitors could not read it as a text or spreadsheet, those with respective IT skills could download the information and process them into a map, Sme wrote.
Ethical hacker Pavol Lupták was among the first to inform on Facebook about the public accessibility of the information. The map was created several hours later by an unknown person.
While Lupták said that the data can easily identify where the positively diagnosed patient lives, the NCZI said that the data reveals only the approximate location. The information was reportedly demanded by the Bratislava city authority.
NCZI also said that it was no data leak. Although the information is currently unavailable, its spokesperson Boris Chmel said that they will make them accessible later as open source. This means that the public will be able to use it, he explained for Sme.
“The service is currently limited, but we plan to share the data later since it is important for public health,” Chmel told Sme. “We’ll report on our next steps.”
Read more about the coronavirus outbreak in Slovakia:
- These are the measures currently in place in Slovakia
- How Slovakia prepared for the coronavirus
- Do I have the coronavirus? How to proceed if you have a suspicion
- More information about what the coronavirus is and how to protect yourself from the infection (WHO)
- Situation update on EU/EEA and the UK as of March 6 morning
- Q&A: State of emergency declared about coronavirus
30. Mar 2020 at 22:36 | Compiled by Spectator staff