Monday, February 25, 2013

Commissioner expands HRSDC breach investigation to Justice Canada

The Toronto Star is reporting that the Privacy Commissioner's investigation of the loss of a USB device containing the sensitive personal information, health information and financial information of 5000 people has expanded to include Justice Canada. From the Star:

Privacy watchdog expands probe over lost USB key to include justice department | Toronto Star

Marian Ngo, a spokeswoman for the human resources department, said the department notified legal services on Nov. 16 that a USB key containing the personal information of 5,045 Canadians who had applied for CPP disability benefits went missing from an employee’s desk.

Information found on the USB stick included social insurance numbers, surnames, occupations, birth dates, medical conditions, level of education, whether there are other payers, such as workers’ compensation, and which Service Canada processing centre was dealing with their applications.

The USB key was not encrypted or protected by a password. Ngo said the memory stick had been delivered by hand two days earlier to legal services for work on a project dealing with transitioning files to the Social Security Tribunal, which opens Apr. 1.

Officials from both HRSDC and Justice Canada searched for USB key extensively on Nov. 16, including at the home of the employee, but could not find it and it was considered lost Nov. 27.

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