Law firm con­sid­er­ing po­ten­tial class ac­tion

Cape Breton Post - - BUSINESS -

A Hal­i­fax-based law firm is ex­plor­ing a po­ten­tial clas­s­ac­tion law­suit aris­ing from the re­cent breach of Nova Sco­tia’s free­dom of in­for­ma­tion web por­tal in­volv­ing about 7,000 sen­si­tive doc­u­ments.

Last week Hal­i­fax Po­lice charged a Hal­i­fax man for breach­ing the prov­ince’s free­dom of in­for­ma­tion web por­tal. His name has not yet been re­leased.

The doc­u­ments were in­ap­pro­pri­ately ac­cessed be­tween March 3 and March 5. Some of the doc­u­ments con­tained per­sonal in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing birth dates, so­cial in­sur­ance numbers, ad­dresses and gov­ern­ment ser­vices’ client in­for­ma­tion.

Deputy Min­is­ter Jeff Con­rad has con­firmed that thou­sands of peo­ple could have been af­fected by the breach.

Wag­n­ers law firm is ask­ing any­one who re­sides in Nova Sco­tia and has been in­formed of or is con­cerned that their in­for­ma­tion was in­ap­pro­pri­ately ac­cessed as a re­sult of the breach to con­tact the firm to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion further.

The in­ap­pro­pri­ate ac­cess of the doc­u­ments was first no­ticed when a provin­cial em­ployee was in­ad­ver­tently granted se­quen­tial ac­cess to ev­ery doc­u­ment avail­able on the por­tal, through a vul­ner­a­bil­ity in the free­dom of in­for­ma­tion web por­tal sys­tem.

The In­ter­nal Ser­vices Depart­ment did not in­form the pub­lic im­me­di­ately of the breach, in­stead waited nearly a week for the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion to un­fold.

In­for­ma­tion and Pri­vacy Com­mis­sioner Cather­ine Tully has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the breach of the gov­ern­ment’s ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion web por­tal, ex­am­in­ing the ad­e­quacy of the se­cu­rity of the sys­tem, and whether the Depart­ment of In­ter­nal Ser­vices was in com­pli­ance with Nova Sco­tia’s Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion and Pro­tec­tion of Pri­vacy Act.

“It’s very con­cern­ing that highly sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion was com­pro­mised and ac­cessed so read­ily, and that on top of that, the gov­ern­ment de­layed in­form­ing the pub­lic, and those whose in­for­ma­tion was ac­cessed, of the breach,” lawyer Ray Wag­ner of Wag­n­ers said in a news re­lease.

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