The Facebook page titled “Zndan” published the pictures of the list of 132 people who died of coronavirus in Armenia last night.
The list includes the names and surnames of the deceased, the dates of birth and death, the address and the place of death.
A number of media outlets republished Zndan’s post today. Hraparak.am, times.am, irakanum.am, armday.am published only the names and surnames and birth details, and antifake.am, analitik.am, haynews. com the complete data.
One of the websites, newsmedia.am, published the news, but at the moment the material with the same link is no longer on the website.
In a conversation with Aravot.am, the spokesperson of the Minister of Health Alina Nikoghosyan confirmed that what appeared on the social network is the list of people who died of coronavirus, but the list has not been fully studied yet to see if all the data are correct or not.
Alina Nikoghosyan said that they will apply to the law enforcement bodies to find out how the data appeared in the hands of other people.
Adviser to the Prosecutor General Gor Abrahamyan said that the police are preparing materials to publish the names of the people who died from the coronavirus.
Shushan Doydoyan, President of the Freedom of Information Center, described the fact as a violation of the law on personal data protection, as “not only the names, surnames, but also their addresses, dates of birth and death were published.”
“Due to the fact of the disease, this becomes a special category of personal data, which is prohibited by law. One thing is clear, however, that information leaked from the state body. And the journalists just copied the already published data,” Shushan Doydoyan told Media.am.
At the same time, she noted that the publication of names alone cannot be problematic, as it is very difficult to identify a person with them, of course, if they are not unique.
According to Shushan Doydoyan, the publication of people’s personal data in the media “is not a violation of the law, but a violation of ethics.”
“Only the names could be published in the media. Especially from the point of view of ethics, they should take into account the public demand to know the addresses of those people,” she added.
The Personal Data Protection Agency also issued a statement on the release of the data of the deceased, describing the fact as worrying and problematic in terms of personal data protection.
“The agency is preparing appropriate documents for the competent authorities to find out the legality of the publication of personal data in question and to ensure the legitimacy of the processing of personal data,” the statement said.