Two computer servers containing the records of almost 1m patients were stolen from the Children’s University hospital in Temple Street in 2007 and have never been recovered.Interestingly, there's no mention of the servers having been encrypted, making it unclear on what basis it was decided that the data couldn't be accessed.
The data were far more than that lost on stolen bank laptops in recent years. The theft was investigated by the data protection commissioner (DPC) and the gardai after being reported by the Dublin hospital in February 2007. The organisations had decided that there was no need to inform the public, believing there was little chance of the thief being able to access the data.
Patients’ details, including names, date of birth and reason for admission are thought to have been included.
There's also an update indicating that there has already been some official interest in accessing the DNA records:
In Australia and New Zealand, hospital databases have been accessed by police using DNA in their investigations.
Asked if it had allowed gardai access to the database, Temple Street said it had “one tentative enquiry” by an agency but this was not followed up.
"Our patient confidentiality policy will continue to dictate the response and no access to samples will be granted," a spokeswoman said.