From tainted blood to blood database breach

Red Cross Blood Service admits to personal data breach affecting half a million donors

Updated about 5 hours ago

Fri 28 Oct 2016, 17:41

The personal data of 550,000 blood donors that includes information about “at-risk sexual behaviour” has been leaked from the Red Cross Blood Service in what has been described as Australia’s largest security breach.

Key points:

  • Data from blood donor registration form posted insecurely online
  • Leak included identifying information and “personal details” of 550,000 donors
  • All copies of the data believed to be destroyed

The organisation said it was told on Wednesday that a file containing donor information was placed on an “insecure computer environment” and “accessed by an unauthorised person”.

The file contained the information of blood donors from between 2010 and 2016.

The data came from an online application form and included “personal details” and identifying information including names, gender, addresses and dates of birth, a Red Cross statement said.

Red Cross Blood Service chief executive Shelly Park said “due to human error” the unsecured data had been posted on a website by a contractor who maintains and develops the Red Cross website.


At least blood recipients will be able to track their donor’s blood!

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