Sunday, November 14, 2004

Incident: Massive leak of personal information in Edmonton, Alberta

Police in Edmonton, Alberta are investigating a curious (and scary) leak of personal information when forms containing sensitive information related to the provinces top bureaucrats was discovered at the scene of a meth bust.

Sensitive files leaked:

"City police and provincial government officials are tracing a massive leak of personal information files collected on civil servants, linked to a possible identity-theft scam. The Solicitor General's department confirmed yesterday that city police located a stack of dossiers while executing a search warrant on a hotel room in the east end on Tuesday.

The files, collected through the new civil service security screening process launched by Premier Ralph Klein's government last year, include sensitive personal information: phone numbers, home addresses, birthdates and - in some cases - social insurance numbers. "

As a consequence, the province has apparently unilaterally "flaggd" the credit files of the civil servants affected, resulting in threats of lawsuits against the province.

Civil servants see red:

"Top civil servants may be considering a lawsuit against the provincial government over the loss of their private credit histories to a possible identity-theft ring. About 460 senior bureaucrats now face new restrictions on their use of credit, after a credit-check company late last week 'red-flagged' their credit files. That move came after the company's own records were found by police in a raid.

Yesterday a letter, faxed anonymously to the Sun and allegedly written by a group of about 40 executive managers in the government, said the staffers met in Edmonton to consider legal action against the province.

'We are seriously concerned... that the government has acted unilaterally to initiate a 'flag' on our personal credit files,' said the letter.... "

See also: Officials' personal info found in police raid (CBC).

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