September 22, 2015 – Biggest loss of privacy data in B.C. history a result of B.C. Liberal bungling

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DeathtoStock_Wired2VICTORIA – British Columbians deserve better than a government that has failed repeatedly to protect their personal information, say B.C. New Democrats.“The Liberals were warned they needed to strengthen their privacy breach policies,” said Doug Routley, New Democrat spokesperson for Citizen Services. “The privacy commissioner released a report this past January that identified gaps in how privacy breaches have been managed. It’s unacceptable that it took a breach of this magnitude to address the problems they’ve known for months existed.”

B.C. Liberal Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk confessed that government lost an unencrypted hard drive that contains more than three million personal student records, and thousands of other personal records. The drive contained personal information collected from 1986-2009 and includes names, addresses,  personal education numbers,  school locations, as well as more sensitive personal information like information on special needs designations, health records, and behavioral histories. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has been asked to investigate this privacy breach.

The province has admitted the unencrypted hard drive had been stored in a warehouse since 2011 and the missing records stored on it represent the most data government has ever lost.

“Christy Clark just isn’t there for British Columbians,” said Rob Fleming, New Democrat spokesperson for Education. “Teachers and students have had a rough start to this year’s school year because of problems with MyEd BC, and now they have this unprecedented privacy breach to worry about.”

Routley said the B.C. Liberals need to be up front with British Columbians about what other sensitive personal records are sitting unprotected in a warehouse somewhere, and they need to assure the public that their private information will be protected going forward.