THE GUARDIAN (UK) – One of Britain’s leading sexual health clinics has apologised after mistakenly revealing the identities of hundreds of HIV-positive patients.
The 56 Dean Street clinic in London sent a newsletter on Tuesday that disclosed the names and email addresses of about 780 recipients. The newsletter is intended for people using its HIV and other sexual health services, and gives details of treatments and support.
The clinic, which is run by the Chelsea and Westminster NHS trust, apologised shortly after sending the email and on Wednesday pledged to investigate how the breach occurred.
Britain’s data protection watchdog is likely to launch an investigation into the privacy breach, thought to be one of the biggest of its kind.
The newsletter was sent to about 780 patients who have signed up to its Option E service, which lets people book appointments and receive test results by email. Instead of hiding the personal details of those on its recipient list, it included their full names and email addresses.