ECE notifies over 1,100 residents that personal information was disclosed ‘in error’

The logo for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. (Logo taken from OIPC website.)

The department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) has alerted over 1,100 residents of a privacy breach that occurred in February.

CKLB has obtained a copy of the email informing affected residents.

ECE sent an email to affected recipients, informing them that their full name, address and amount of interest paid on their student loan in 2018 or 2020 was disclosed in error to an individual. This was in a document attached to an email sent on Feb. 23.

“ECE apologizes for this error and would like to assure you that information privacy is very important,” reads the email. “We will continue to work to strengthen our operational protections so that similar incidents do not occur in the future.”

The email says those affected have the right to request a review by the territorial Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC).

The IPC confirmed it is aware of the incident and is investigating.

It says ECE became aware of the incident on April 12 and “staff contacted the individual and confirmed the email was deleted and not shared.”

Christina Carrigan, a spokesperson for ECE, says in an email the privacy commissioner confirmed the “individual secured the information in a locked folder.”

She adds ECE staff followed up and verbally confirmed with the individual that the original email and locked folder was deleted and trash folder was emptied.

Carrigan says procedural changes and staff training have been implemented and the investigation is ongoing to prevent future incidents.

About the Author

Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is a graduate of Carleton University's bachelor of journalism program. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at