Ministry of Justice has not informed people of data breach

Ministry of Justice's data leak.
Ministry of Justice's data leak. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Ministry of Justice has not informed approximately 1,000 people who sought legal advice and whose data was accidentally made public. According to the ministry, the article published by ERR at the end of July is enough.

At the end of July, ERR discovered that the data of people who have received free legal advice from OÜ Hugo were public in the document register of the Ministry of Justice. Among other things, information about why they sought legal advice was public. Next to the names, there are keywords like divorce, alimony, proof of heredity, the bankruptcy of a private person.

Gunnar Vaikmaa from the Ministry of Justice said anyone who has received legal advice and has questions about the use of their data can turn to the ministry.

Vaikmaa said that because some people received advice multiple times he cannot say exactly how many people were affected but he estimated it to be "about 1,000".

The error occurred because an official did not tick a box to hide the data.

"This is obviously an unfortunate exceptional case and such a thing should not have happened. It is really very embarrassing," Vaikmaa admitted.

He confirmed that the ministry has looked over its work processes and several people are checking the marking of sensitive information for internal use. The ministry has not contacted the people affected by the data leak.

"This would have meant further processing of the data and was intended to be avoided. For the General Data Protection Regulation, its coverage in the media was considered to be another measure informing these data subjects on an equal basis," he said.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright

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