Saskatchewan privacy commissioner urges caution
The Tony Merchant Law Group is one of three agencies launching class-action suits against the federal government over lost personal information.
Published Friday, January 18, 2013 5:39PM CST
In the wake of a federal agency losing half a million student loan receipts, the Saskatchewan privacy commissioner is calling for more safeguards to protect personal information.
The information released about the student loans included names, birthdays, social insurance numbers and contact information. It was lost when a hard drive went missing, and officials still aren’t sure where the hard drive is, or whether the information has been accessed.
Three class-action lawsuits have been launched against the Government of Canada, including one by the Merchant Law Group in Saskatchewan.
The provincial privacy commissioner is concerned about how often these privacy breaches happen, and that it took two months to publicize the mistake.
“I was surprised there wasn’t earlier notification for the individuals affected,” said Gary Dickenson, Saskatchewan privacy commissioner.
“Best practices, when that kind of information goes missing, an organization should be providing fairly prompt notification to the individuals so they can take some steps to protect themselves,” he said.