London Clinic probes claim staffer tried to peek at Princess Kate's records

First: Not being able buy a meat pie with a credit card. Now this

The London Clinic where the Princess of Wales had surgery at the start of this year says it is investigating claims an employee tried to access her medical records.

Reports of the breach suggest one member of staff at the famous hospital was caught attempting to view notes for Kate Middleton, the future Queen of the United Kingdom. The princess had abdominal surgery at the start of this year and her prolonged recovery has led to all sorts of conspiracy theories.

Al Russell, CEO at the London Clinic, which is known for discreetly treating members of the royal family, as well as senior politicians and celebrities, issued a statement on the company website:

Everyone at the London Clinic is acutely aware of our individual, professional, ethical and legal duties with regard to patient confidentiality. We take enormous pride in the outstanding care and discretion we aim to deliver for all our patients that put their trust in us every day.

We have systems in place to monitor management of patient information and, in the case of any breach, all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken. There is no place at our hospital for those who intentionally breach the trust of any of our patients or colleagues.

The Information Commissioner's Office, the local data protection regulator, confirmed to The Register in a statement: "We can confirm that we have received a breach report and are assessing the information provided."

The breach only pertains to Middleton, yet the International Association of Privacy Professionals Joe Jones, director of research and insights, highlighted that access to someone's personal data doesn't mean an employee has the "necessary permissions and legal right to access and share that data."

"Although the reported breach relates to only one individual, the magnitude and accelerated proliferation of potentially harmful, and perhaps even defamatory conjecture associated with unlawful disclosure of sensitive personal data compounds the seriousness of the reported breach," he added.

Her operation took place in mid-January, according to Kensington Palace, where Kate and Prince William live. She was discharged on January 29 following a 13 night stay.

Yet the princess's prolonged absence from public life since has led to all sorts of rumor and speculation about the true state of her health. Fears - among some - were stoked further when she released a digitally doctored photo of her with her children on Mothering Sunday.

All was proved well at the weekend when a healthy looking Kate was spotted at a farm shop doing a spot of shopping.

Zut alors. Those bloody people on the interwebs. ®

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