Security measures not followed in case of missing student loan records

March 27, 2014

Canada’s Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier has released the results of an investigation into the case of a hard drive containing 584,000 student loan records that was lost last winter, reporting that the drive had been left unsecured, without password protection or encryption. The commissioner’s report also says that employees were unaware of the sensitivity of the information contained on the drive. "Protecting personal information cannot be ensured by having policies on paper. Policies must be put into practice each and every day and monitored regularly," says Bernier. Employment and Social Development Canada spokesperson Eric Morrissette says, “The department has taken action to prevent future incidents including: reviewing the ways that employees handle Canadians’ data and fixing any gaps that allowed this to happen, updating network security practices to prohibit external hard drives, and providing more mandatory training for all employees on the proper handling of sensitive and personal information — and the new security policies." CBC News