A recent data protection breach has prompted a Defence Forces investigation into the military’s electronic health record system, Socrates, following alleged actions by a healthcare worker at a military medical facility. This marks the third such breach in five years, with concerns raised about the security of patient medical records and other related issues.
The breach comes after a Women of Honour report highlighted access and management concerns, as well as abuse and victimization of soldiers within the Defence Forces.
It’s the second breach reported this year, and the healthcare worker involved accessed records of at least one soldier not under their care.
The breach was discovered when a healthcare worker reportedly referred to private medical information during a conversation with a friend of one of the affected soldiers. Staff at the facility raised alarms, and military police detectives were called in for further investigation.
Although the exact timing of the breach remains unclear, the Defence Forces data protection officer issued warnings to multiple soldiers in May regarding unauthorized access to their electronic health records. While the Data Protection Commission is investigating eight complaints related to data breaches, none are linked to Socrates.
Whistleblower Alan Nolan, who previously warned about Socrates’ inadequacies, emphasized the persistent issues with digital medical records in the Defence Forces. He plans to discuss these concerns with the Department of Defence’s secretary-general.
The Defence Forces spokesperson confirmed an ongoing Military Police investigation into the alleged breach, stating that further comments would be withheld until the investigation concludes.
Despite this breach being the third related to Socrates, the Data Protection Commission’s notifications do not directly pertain to these incidents.