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KINGSTON, Jamaica — People’s National Party spokesperson on science, technology and commerce, Hugh Graham, says the Government and the Amber Group need to clear the air surrounding the JAMCOVID data breach “quickly and with honesty and transparency”.
This follows investigative reports this week that the data of nearly half a million people was left unprotected for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time and was only rectified after direct contact was made with the contractors, the Amber Group of Companies.
“Everything we know right now has come from investigative reporting. Already, the information from the Government conflicts with the reports from tech experts, and this is causing alarm and deep concern in the public domain,” Graham said.
“We need clarity from the Ministries of Health and National Security about when they first learnt of the breach. The Ministry of National Security issued a statement on Wednesday indicating that they discovered the breach on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, yet the technical team that initiated contact with the Government claims to have alerted them from as early as February 13, 2021,” Graham said.
Graham is also demanding that the Government and Amber Group explicitly outline the steps undertaken to cauterise the leak, and be truthful about steps taken to notify vulnerable people about the potential risks to themselves and their data.
“Is the Government really trying to tell the public that they already contacted everyone who was involved in the breach in just one night? That they’ve already identified every piece of data that was left open to hackers, and made contact with nearly half a million potential victims?” Graham asked
He also pointed out that the Government’s handling of this incident “does not inspire confidence, and that a nervous public is already expressing reservations about the proposed NIDS”.
While calling for a transparent and thorough investigation, Graham warned that, “we cannot afford to expose our reputation and brand Jamaica to further risk”.
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