‘I can look for results from acquaintances’, say employees of the corona test line

Call center agents on the corona test line can – in violation of privacy legislation – search the GGD system that is used to schedule and call people who are being tested for the corona virus. Employees and former employees report News hour how things are going on the test line.

“With last name and date of birth you can find the results of someone”, say several (former) employees. “I recently asked an ex-colleague if he could look up the test results of an acquaintance”, one of them says. That this occurs more often is confirmed by various (former) employees News hour.

Another former employee states that he could see what comments GGD employees had given to tested Dutch people. “Things like underlying illnesses or when they last worked.”

“I actually had no idea what I was getting into.” Employees tell their story anonymously:


‘Sometimes I really had the feeling: I’m just doing something’

If you want to schedule a test appointment, you can call the corona test line. There are no GGD employees there, but the work has been transferred to the Teleperformance call center through employment agencies Olympia and YoungCapital. The operators work from home.

The corona test line call center has been set up at breakneck speed, say employees. New employees are trained by video connection by people who have just started themselves.

It was so stressful that it was not worth it for 10 euros gross an hour.

Former employee

“You work with a fairly complex system, with several programs next to each other that are all new. I did not feel that I was ready, but I started anyway,” says an ex-employee, who stopped because ‘the how Teleperformance dealt with employees caused so much stress that it is not worth it for 10 euros gross per hour ‘.

“The system has really taken off,” says another employee. “It had a lot of teething problems and disruptions, which caused the waiting times to increase.

The temporary employees receive a short training. They have one inboundtask, where they have to schedule calling people with corona complaints for a test, or a outbound-task, where they have to call people with a negative test result. The GGD itself calls people who have tested positive.

“We don’t do much differently from the GGD, but they receive 15 euros per hour and receive training on how to deal with people,” says an ex-employee. “But we also just get anxious people on the phone.”

Problem with privacy law

Employees seek help from each other, says the ex-employee. Consultation sometimes takes place in WhatsApp groups.

The privacy law is already at stake there, says the former employee. “People send screenshots of their screens asking them what to do.” Nieuwsuur has viewed screenshots with visible personal data.

“You signed up not to do things like that,” says another employee. But the rules are regularly broken. “Not because people want to, but because they have questions or are not properly helped by managers. Then people help each other and screenshots are forwarded.”

“I know how to deal with secrecy,” says another employee. “I am very strict with privacy myself, but in fact I can look up something from anyone. If I have a name or address I can go very far.”

Some employees understand the situation. “It is a big job that was set up in a short time. But I did expect that they would have things in order better.”

Some employees emphasize that there are control mechanisms. “All conversations are recorded, Teleperformance can see what you are doing. If you do things that are not possible, you run the risk of being caught doing so”, say several employees. “I hope that everyone is honest and will not check whether the neighbors have also been tested,” said one of them.

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