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Wetcoaster

OOPS - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada loses data on 583,000 Canadians

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Or maybe "OOPS again"...HRSDC revealed previously that a USB key containing personal information on about 5,000 Canadians disappeared in November, 2012.

This data was on a portable hard drive and relates to student loan recipients consisting of student names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, contact information and loan balance of Canada Student Loan borrowers. Also HRSDC employees personal contact information.

Fortunately the Minister responsible for HRSDC is really, really disappointed and vows better training in security of data practises. How about being so disappointed that someone is actually held responsible for this SNAFU and fired this time???

A portable hard drive containing personal information about more than half a million people who received student loans has gone missing, the federal government revealed Friday.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada says the device disappeared from an HRSDC office in Gatineau, Que., in early November.

The hard drive had personal information on 583,000 Canadians who were clients of the Canada Student Loans program from 2000 to 2006. Borrowers from Quebec, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are not affected.

The information on the missing hard drive includes:

Student names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, contact information and loan balance of Canada Student Loan borrowers.
  • Personal contact information for 250 HRSDC employees.

  • The government says no banking or medical information was on the hard drive.

Letters are going out to everyone affected to tell them what steps to take to protect themselves.

No evidence of fraud

So far, there's no sign that any of the missing data has been accessed or used for fraudulent purposes, but the government has called in the RCMP and alerted the office of the privacy commissioner.

"I want all Canadians to know that I have expressed my disappointment to departmental officials at this unacceptable and avoidable incident in handling Canadians’ personal information," said Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley in a statement.

"I have requested that HRSDC employees across Canada receive comprehensive communications on the seriousness of these recent incidents and that they participate in mandatory training on a new security policy to ensure that similar situations do not occur again."

She says employees who fail to adhere to the new policy could be fired.

This is the second incident involving missing personal information that her department has faced in less than a month.

In late December, HRSDC revealed that a USB key containing personal information on about 5,000 Canadians disappeared in November.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...dent-loans.html

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"I have requested that HRSDC employees across Canada receive comprehensive communications on the seriousness of these recent incidents and that they participate in mandatory training on a new security policy to ensure that similar situations do not occur again."

She says employees who fail to adhere to the new policy could be fired.

This is the second incident involving missing personal information that her department has faced in less than a month.

In late December, HRSDC revealed that a USB key containing personal information on about 5,000 Canadians disappeared in November.

I'm glad this is in capable hands. "Could be" fired. That's reassuring.

OK, seriously? This isn't someone's coffee cup that's been lost.....there are serious repercussions that could come with information like this getting into the wrong hands. My God.

It should have been a no brainer as to the importance and security of storing people's personal information - to address it like a current need/issue rather than something that's failed miserably is wrong. For crying out loud, the two bit company I work for takes better security measures. Could have/ should have's/will in the future just don't cut it.

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Firing people for the sake of firing someone is nothing more than a PR move. Doing that is to try alleviate the heat rather than an attempt to solve a problem. Firing someone for negligence should have to meet the criteria of a willfully negligent act. Firing someone for an accident is just crappy. If it was stolen, Then the person who stole it is the one who needs to be scapegoated.

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Or maybe "OOPS again"...HRSDC revealed previously that a USB key containing personal information on about 5,000 Canadians disappeared in November, 2012.

This data was on a portable hard drive and relates to student loan recipients consisting of student names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, contact information and loan balance of Canada Student Loan borrowers. Also HRSDC employees personal contact information.

Fortunately the Minister responsible for HRSDC is really, really disappointed and vows better training in security of data practises. How about being so disappointed that someone is actually held responsible for this SNAFU and fired this time???

A portable hard drive containing personal information about more than half a million people who received student loans has gone missing, the federal government revealed Friday.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada says the device disappeared from an HRSDC office in Gatineau, Que., in early November.

The hard drive had personal information on 583,000 Canadians who were clients of the Canada Student Loans program from 2000 to 2006. Borrowers from Quebec, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are not affected.

The information on the missing hard drive includes:

Student names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, contact information and loan balance of Canada Student Loan borrowers.
  • Personal contact information for 250 HRSDC employees.

  • The government says no banking or medical information was on the hard drive.

Letters are going out to everyone affected to tell them what steps to take to protect themselves.

No evidence of fraud

So far, there's no sign that any of the missing data has been accessed or used for fraudulent purposes, but the government has called in the RCMP and alerted the office of the privacy commissioner.

"I want all Canadians to know that I have expressed my disappointment to departmental officials at this unacceptable and avoidable incident in handling Canadians’ personal information," said Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley in a statement.

"I have requested that HRSDC employees across Canada receive comprehensive communications on the seriousness of these recent incidents and that they participate in mandatory training on a new security policy to ensure that similar situations do not occur again."

She says employees who fail to adhere to the new policy could be fired.

This is the second incident involving missing personal information that her department has faced in less than a month.

In late December, HRSDC revealed that a USB key containing personal information on about 5,000 Canadians disappeared in November.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...dent-loans.html

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The government could be in for a huge lawsuit , I know my info could easily be on there as i had a student loan in 2001-2002

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Durham USB key settlement approved: judge calls risks from lost data 'negligible'

Region of Durham on the hook for $500,000 in court costs

DURHAM -- Durham residents whose health information went missing on a lost USB key will have to prove they were financially harmed to get compensation.

Justice Peter Lauwers has approved a settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit launched after 83,524 people's data was lost by a Region of Durham employee in December 2009.

While many affected residents had hoped to receive a lump sum payment, the agreement requires class members to file individual claims that prove they suffered economic harm as a direct result of the incident.

The Region then has a chance to try to mitigate the harm.

If a person is still unsatisfied they can take a shot at monetary compensation, which the agreement says will be based on "common law principles."

Sean Brown, one of the lawyers representing the class action, says he is "content" with the resolution and has only heard from a handful of class members who aren't.

Of the roughly 79,000 people who didn't opt out of the lawsuit, lawyers got feedback from about 500.

Only about 20 of those voiced an objection before the July 3 settlement hearing.

"That's an extremely small minority of people that have any real problems with the settlement process," Mr. Brown said. "Everyone else, whether their silence means they're content with it or not, is difficult to say."

Lawyers representing the Region could not immediately be reached for comment.

In his decision Justice Lauwers calls the agreement "fair and reasonable" and says it's the best outcome the class can hope to accomplish given that "ongoing risks to the members of the class appear to be negligible."

The information on the USB key was collected from residents who received an H1N1 flu shot at health department clinics between Oct. 1 and Dec. 16, 2009. Data included name, address, phone number, date of birth, health card number and the name and address of each patient's family doctor.

The USB key was lost by a nurse in the Region of Durham headquarters parking lot on Dec. 16, 2009.

In his decision Justice Lauwers cites evidence from fraud experts who said the data on the key likely wouldn't be enough to commit identity theft.

"Over the course of this action, anxiety about the abuse of private information has given way to the realization that it is now probable that no one has the missing USB key," the judge says. "This inference comes from the fact that no class member has claimed the information on the key has been used to financially damage his or her interests."

Justice Lauwers goes on to say the case would "look far different" if the missing health information had been abused.

Still, more than a dozen local residents vented their anxiety at the July 3 settlement hearing in Oshawa.

Some even cited incidents of fraud and suggested there might be links to the lost USB key.

"I got call from RBC saying I have overdrawn account, I don't even deal with RBC," said Tom Cole, who said he has also had difficulty crossing the border due to identity theft issues.

The settlement agreement requires the Region to pay class counsel $500,000 to cover the cost of roughly 900 hours spent working on the file since January 2010.

The firm of Flaherty Dow Elliott and McCarthy is representing the class -- if the names sound familiar it's because the firm is connected to Whitby-Oshawa MP Jim Flaherty and his wife Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott.

In past interviews lawyers at the firm have declined to comment on the connection between the local MP and MPP and the lawsuit. The Region is also on the hook for any awards to class members -- 25 per cent of each award will go to the class lawyers.

Region staff said those amounts will all be covered by insurance, which will have an impact on premiums -- and possibly future budgets.

Staff said there is no way to forecast how much premiums could go up.

Class members have until Aug. 2, 2016 to submit a claim for compensation.

http://www.durhamregion.com/news/article/1392350--durham-usb-key-settlement-approved-judge-calls-risks-from-lost-data-negligible

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Firing people for the sake of firing someone is nothing more than a PR move. Doing that is to try alleviate the heat rather than an attempt to solve a problem. Firing someone for negligence should have to meet the criteria of a willfully negligent act. Firing someone for an accident is just crappy. If it was stolen, Then the person who stole it is the one who needs to be scapegoated.

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My daughter at Uvic is so pissed right now and rightly so. Thanks wet, I forwarded the link to her. Pretty scarey that all she's worked for could be all for naught. Nothing to see here folks, just another Cons. govt sweep it under the rug ploy by throwing the lowest employee under the bus.

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Another day, another class action law suit against HRSDC over the lost data. This is the third thus far.

Another day, another lawsuit over a massive privacy breach.

The federal government now faces a third class-action suit over the loss of a portable hard drive containing personal information about more than half a million people who took out student loans.

The law firms of Sutts, Strosberg LLP, Branch MacMaster LLP and Falconer Charney LLP are seeking $600 million in compensation on behalf of those affected by the loss of the hard drive.

This latest class-action lawsuit comes on the heels of two similar actions launched this week.

Last week, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada revealed it had lost a device containing data on 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program borrowers from 2000 to 2006.

The missing files include student names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, contact information and loan balances of borrowers, as well as the personal contact information of 250 department employees.

Borrowers from Quebec, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories during this time period are not affected.

No banking or medical information was on the portable device.

The loss of the hard drive from an office in Gatineau, Que., across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill, came to light as the department looked into another breach — a missing USB key containing the personal information of more than 5,000 Canadians.

Human Resources went public with the second, more far-reaching loss last week — more than two months after an employee discovered that an external hard drive was missing.

"We are shocked that the government of Canada has known about this breach of privacy for so long without revealing to the country what happened," Falconer Charney lawyer Ted Charney said in a statement.

The department had no comment on the lawsuits.

"Should litigation be formally commenced, the Department (of) Justice will respond on behalf of HRSDC," a spokesperson said in an email.

The RCMP and the privacy watchdog are investigating the lost data.

Human Resources is sending letters to affected people, for whom it has current contact information, to advise them on how to protect their personal information.

A toll-free number has been set up at 1-866-885-1866 (or 1-416-572-1113 for those outside North America) to help people determine whether they are affected.

http://www.theprovince.com/business/Federal+government+faces+third+classaction+lawsuit+over/7840053/story.html#ixzz2IOdkZoAu

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