Canadian Security Magazine

Ontario voter data loss scrutinized by privacy commissioner

By Canadian Security   

News Public Sector

According to a press release, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, is investigating a privacy breach at Elections Ontario involving the personal information of up to 2.4 million Ontarians.

On July 5, the Commissioner’s office was advised of the loss of two USB keys containing the unencrypted names, home addresses, dates of birth, and gender, as well as whether or not the person had voted in the last election — all included on Ontario voters’ lists. The Commissioner advised Elections Ontario to notify the public of this breach as soon as possible. An investigation was immediately launched, with the full co-operation of Elections Ontario, to examine how the breach could have occurred and the existence of privacy policies and procedures in place at the province’s election agency.

The investigation is expected to be completed in several weeks, at which time the Commissioner’s findings will be released publicly. As part of her report, the Commissioner will be providing guidance that organizations can use to limit the possibility of this type of breach happening in the future.

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