A new finding from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner that strongly suggests that sensitive personal information should not be left on someone's answering machine:
"An individual alleged that her bank improperly disclosed her personal information when it left an automated message on her answering machine stating that she was behind on making a payment on her credit card. She stated that she had not given her consent for the bank to leave a message that anyone in her family or a visitor could hear, and objected to this disclosure of her financial status in an unsecured and non-private forum."
The Assistant Commisioner found the complaint to have been resolved by the bank's undertaking not to leave such messages again.
The moral of the story is to not leave sensitive personal information on someone's voice-mail or answering machine without their OK. This will surely apply to physicians who may wish to leave a reminder about an upcoming appointment or a pharmacist leaving a message that the patient's Viagra prescription is ready to pick up.