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Covid certification service temporarily interrupted

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A data breach in the Covid vaccine passport scheme has seen some people being sent other applicants’ personal information.

Officials said the Northern Ireland Covid-19 Certification Service – COVIDCert NI – has experienced a technical difficulty and availability will be temporarily interrupted.

The Department of Health (DoH) said it is aware that a limited number of users may be presented with data relating to other users.

Immediate action has also been taken to temporarily remove a part of the service that manages identity.

Breaking down who is affected the DoH explained:

  • Applicants (currently up to and including July 31) who already have their certificate will not be impacted by this – their apps or paper copies are still operational.
  • Applicants (to July 31) who have lodged an application using the online portal for a downloadable PDF who have not yet received it will not be impacted by this – their PDF will be delivered.
  • Applicants (to July 31) who have lodged an application using the COVIDCert NI app for an electronic certificate who have not yet received it will not be impacted by this – they will be sent a PDF as an interim step.
  • Applicants (to July 31) who have lodged an application for an electronic certificate who receive a PDF copy instead will be able to log-in and download an electronic version after the issue is fixed.
  • Applicants who are currently undergoing identity validation in the NIDirect workflow can continue. Once successfully validated they will need to pause while we fix the above issue.
  • Some users may find they cannot login through their NIDirect account, as they have been locked due to the technical issue.

A spokesperson for the DoH said it takes the privacy of citizen’s data very seriously and contact has been made with the Information Commissioner’s Office as part of due diligence in protecting citizen’s data.

“The department is endeavouring to resolve the issue and will provide a further update as soon as responsibly possible,” the DoH said.

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