Australian paternity and drug tests leaked on Google


A father assists his son during the annual Havaianas Thong Challenge World Record Attempt at Cottesloe Beach on Jan. 26, 2011 in Perth, Australia.


Paul Kane

A massive privacy scare in Australia is under investigation after paternity and drug tests were found on the Google website, an Australian newspaper reports.

Hundreds of orders of tests from people all over Australia can be found by searching Google for a specific term, which Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, said it had  chosen not to publish.

It occurred after the company, Medvet, apparently failed to lock down its online order system and it was "crawled" by Google, the SMH reports.

Australia's privacy commissioner has begun an investigation into claims that the company knew this was occurring as far back as April but allegedly failed to alert customers that their private order details were being made public, it reports.

SMH reports on its website:

The invoices detail specifics on the type of paternity test ordered or the specific drug that the person is being screened for.

The company's managing director Greg Johansen said in a phone interview this afternoon: "We've got a forensic computer person working through and removing them [Google's cache results] now."

South Australia Health said it would send in external auditors to examine Medvet's systems.

Medvet, which says customer confidentiality is important to the company, had yet to contact affected customers. It says it will once an internal investigation is finished, SMH reports.

The company advised that only paternity and drug test order details and customer addresses were revealed, not test results and names.

It was working today with a forensic computer expert to remove the cached details from Google.

Medvet managing director Greg Johansen said in a statement the company "deeply regrets that its its web store security has been compromised".

"On becoming aware of this Medvet Laboratories immediately closed the web store and we have initiated the necessary steps to have the information removed from the internet."