- Known for exposing national security data and sensitive political information, WikiLeaks’ giant data dumps have also included personal health information, according to a report from the Associated Press.
- In the last year, the group has posted medical records of hundreds Saudi citizens, including sick children, psychiatric patients and rape victims.
- WikiLeaks says its mission is to bring transparency to censored or restricted material “involving war, spying and corruption.”
The AP reached 23 people whose information had been published, some of whom had no idea their privacy had been breached. Other responses ranged from ho-hum to shock that their data was exposed.
Two people said identity thieves had targeted them since the leak. Several records named partners of women suffering from sexually transmitted diseases, and one divorce document went into detail about a man’s infertility.
The leak information included passports, identity files as well as academic and employment records.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has maintained that the group won’t reveal personal information. “We have a harm minimization policy,” the AP quotes him from a July 2010 talk in Oxford, England. “There are legitimate secrets. Your records with your doctor, that’s a legitimate secret.”
Since then, however, WikiLeaks has backed off its redaction policy, saying withholding any information is wrong.
A Fox News story cited WikiLeaks as a concern with the federal electronic health record incentive program. It quoted Patient Privacy Right Foundation founder Deborah Peel as warning, “If you think WikiLeaks is bad, this is gonna be WikiLeaks on steroids.”