Zurich data scandal – Jacqueline Fehr: “It should never have happened” – News

  • For years, many IT devices belonging to the Zurich law enforcement authorities with extremely sensitive data are said to have fallen into the wrong hands.
  • This is because the Zurich Department of Justice had improperly disposed of numerous hard drives.
  • An external investigation has now relieved the current Zurich judiciary, but there is still a great loss of confidence.
  • At the same time, the public prosecutor’s office is examining an in-depth criminal investigation with regard to data disposal.

“Like in the wrong movie”

After the improper disposal of computer hard drives, an external investigation cleared the Zurich Justice Department. Such a data leak is no longer possible today, it was said at a media conference on Tuesday. It was like in the wrong film, “completely incomprehensible from today’s perspective,” said Fehr.

The report states that the IT security of the Department of Justice has been guaranteed for years – no immediate measures were necessary.

Until 2014, the rules for data disposal were insufficient. The focus is on the IT department of the Justice Department, Digital Solutions. It was not until 2013 that she implemented data destruction according to standardized processes.

It is no longer possible to determine whether there were binding specifications for data destruction up until 2014. However, it is clear that rules were not followed, the report concludes. Accordingly, these incidents did not happen during the tenure of Jacqueline Fehr, who took office in 2015.

However, mistakes still happened later: Paper files were still being disposed of incorrectly in 2019. This probably includes the contracts with the people who were responsible for data disposal at the time.

The public prosecutor examines in depth

In connection with the data security incident at the Directorate of Justice and Home Affairs, the Zurich-Sihl public prosecutor’s office has been conducting criminal proceedings since November 2020. This because the incidents became known at the end of 2020.

As part of these criminal proceedings, data carriers have been seized in recent months, on which, according to the current state of knowledge, there was a small amount of data from the judiciary, as the senior public prosecutor wrote in a statement today, Tuesday.

New clarifications have now prompted the public prosecutor’s office to subject the data disposal to an in-depth criminal investigation.

The history

Last week it became public that the Zurich Department of Justice had improperly disposed of numerous hard drives. The data stored on it, some of it sensitive, fell into the wrong hands.

A milieubeizer is said to have come into their possession. For example, information from several public prosecutor’s offices, the Directorate of Justice and the Psychiatric-Psychological Service could be found on the hard drives. The incidents are believed to have happened between 2006 and 2012.

Yesterday, middle-class Zurich cantonal councils called for a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (PUK).

In addition, the Zurich data scandal also reached federal Bern. According to media reports, the Federal Office of Police is now also clarifying whether data is also affected by it. And the responsible commission of the Federal Parliament wants to know whether the intelligence service is also affected.

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