Social insurance numbers. Mortgage applications. Medical records. Credit reports. Home addresses.
Such information about more than 2,700 Albertans has been stolen or lost, says Frank Work, the province’s privacy commissioner, who says he can’t believe that government and businesses aren’t better protecting people’s personal data.
“When I hear about breaches like this, all I can say is, ‘Really?’ Is there a need to put people through this when the information could easily be encrypted?” Work said in a release Thursday.
Alberta law requires businesses to notify the commissioner when personal information is lost.
In the last month, there have been seven breaches involving a stolen or lost laptop or digital device.
“The most troubling” from the standpoint of identity theft involved a laptop belonging to a trust company that was stolen.
It contained information about 135 customers, including mortgage applications, names, addresses, social insurance numbers and credit bureau reports.
“That’s the very foundation for identity theft. They’ve got your name, your social insurance number,” said Wayne Wood, communications director for Work’s office.
Other stolen or lost information included the Alberta Health Services medical records of 2,700 children. Wood says they were pediatric, gastroentology and nutrition patients.
AHS has notified 46 of those 2,700 patients.
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