Canadian Security Magazine

Missing USB drive prompts changes to health-care information policy

By The Canadian Press   

News Health Care privacy usb USB keys

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's privacy commissioner says he's satisfied with steps taken by the province's largest health authority after a USB drive that contained the personal information of about 9,000 employees went missing.

The flash drive contained a spreadsheet with the names, employees numbers and social insurance numbers of 3,300 staff members, and the names and employee numbers of another 5,700.

It went missing June 19 and was found on Aug. 4 within a file folder in a secure area of the human resources department.

Information and Privacy Commissioner Ed Ring says Eastern Health has made a number of changes to prevent future incidents, including no longer using social insurance numbers to identify workers and destroying all non-encrypted USB drives.

Ring says many of the changes have already been implemented and the remainder will be by the end of this month.


He says he has determined that the health authority has responded adequately to the situation.

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