Saturday, September 16, 2006

Canadian Government Loses Personal Information of Thousands

We read (too frequently) of personal information "going missing" in the United States. Here is a story by Chad Skelton of the CanWest News Service of a potential Canadian breach:

Computer tapes containing the private health and welfare records of "hundreds of thousands" of British Columbians were discovered missing from the government's main data centre in Victoria last year and have never been found, according to a confidential government investigation obtained by the Vancouver Sun.

Poor record-keeping at the facility, which is run by Telus, means it's impossible to confirm exactly what happened to the 31 tapes, although the report speculates they were most likely destroyed in error or borrowed by a government staffer who forgot to return them. However, the report warns that their disappearance is serious and "may have resulted in the inadvertent disclosure of the data contents."

CanWest story, here.

The story references a report, which says the tapes might have been borrowed by a government staffer. I hope they weren't borrowed in the same manner as VA computers were in the U.S. - or stolen.

Apparently the government knew about this last August, but didn't disclose it because the threat was considered minimal. Sound familiar?

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