February 14, 2020
Ever heard someone say if you have nothing to hide you will…. Well your private information is something that should be very well hidden!
“Personal information belonging to 144,000 Canadians breached by federal departments and agencies” Privacy commissioner's office says it has found 'strong indications of systemic under-reporting'
The estimate tabled in the House of Commons of the number of federal privacy breaches will fall way short of the real number.
Federal departments or agencies have mishandled personal information belonging to 144,000 Canadians over the past two years, according to new figures tabled in the House of Commons — and not everyone who was swept up in a privacy breach was told about it.
The new figures were included in the federal government's answer to an order paper question filed by Conservative MP Dean Allison late last month. The nearly 800-page response didn't explain the errors, which range in seriousness from minor hiccups to serious breaches involving sensitive personal information.
[Anyone surprised that the government haven’t voluntarily disclosed such a beach or trust themselves please stand up!]
"There's a significant problem with the way that the government protects personal information," said David Fraser, a privacy lawyer at McInnes Cooper in Halifax.
"The numbers that we're consistently seeing reported out of the federal government are higher than they should be and significantly higher in my view."
(As a corporate sole) “We don't get to choose as citizens what governments we deal with, and governments are custodians of a significant amount of highly sensitive personal information.” - Privacy lawyer David Fraser
Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien has been pushing for changes to the Privacy Act to make breach reporting mandatory. As it stands, federal departments only have to alert affected individuals in the event of "material" breaches — cases involving sensitive personal information which reasonably could be expected to cause serious injury or harm to an individual, or ones affecting large numbers of people.