Personal information of tens of thousands of Canadians ‘mishandled’ by federal departments

Few of those affected were notified

A CBC report says federal departments or agencies have mishandled personal information belonging to 144,000 Canadians over the past two years.

And not everyone affected was told about it.

The 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 offer an explanation for the errors, which range in seriousness from minor hiccups to serious breaches involving sensitive personal information.

Canada Revenue Agency was the biggest offender with more than three-thousand incidents affecting 60-thousand Canadians. CRA blamed misdirected mail, security incidents and employee misconduct.

Many of the affected individuals were not notified since the risk to them was considered to be low.

Health Canada reported 122 breaches affecting 24-thousand people.

Employment and Social Development Canada said some of its breaches involved lost or misdirected passports and birth certificates.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment and the RCMP reported missteps as well.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is reviewing the order paper question.

feature image via Pixabay