The way in which the hard drives of the computers were disposed of was“unprofessional, careless and possibly criminally reprehensible”, according to the cantonal justice minister, Jacqueline Fehr © Keystone / Christian Beutler
The current heads of the Zurich cantonal department of justice are not responsible for the data leak between 2006 and 2012 in which sensitive data is said to have come into the hands of criminals involved in drugs and prostitution.
This content was published on December 6, 2022 - 14:42 December 6, 2022 - 14:42 Keystone-SDA/ts
An external administrative investigation has cleared the current heads, but it noted the unprofessional replacement of computers during the period in question.
The way in which the hard drives of the computers were disposed of was“unprofessional, careless and possibly criminally reprehensible”, the cantonal justice minister, Jacqueline Fehr, told the media on Tuesday.“It should never have taken place in this way.”
The external report, commissioned by the justice department, reveals that the rules surrounding the disposal of data remained inadequate until 2014. It added that no immediate additional measures are now necessary and such a scandal would not be possible today.
However, the legal consultancy has made recommendations for data security management. These are currently being implemented.Open questions
The Public Prosecutor's Office alerted Fehr to the matter in November 2020. Fehr then informed the cantonal data protection officer in particular and also commissioned the legal consultancy firm specialising in IT matters, which submitted its final report in March 2021.
On the recommendation of the data protection officer, Fehr did not inform the media for tactical reasons related to the investigation.
Last week, however, several media outlets revealed the leaking of data from 2006 to 2012. The events took place during the terms of office of two of Fehr's predecessors, Markus Notter and Martin Graf. Some sensitive data is said to have come into the hands of criminals in the drug and prostitution business. These include psychiatric reports on accused people as well as information from the public prosecutor's office and the justice department.
A criminal investigation is underway. As long as it is not completed, many questions remain open about the amount of leaked data and its sensitivity, Fehr stressed.
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