B.C. health authority warns of possible privacy breach after police recover documents

B.C. health authority warns of possible privacy breach after police recover documents
The health authority in British Columbia's Interior region is asking people who worked for them from 2003 to 2009 to reach out after a possible privacy breach. British Columbia's provincial flag flies on a flagpole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

An RCMP investigation has revealed a possible privacy breach for thousands of employees who worked or work at a health authority in British Columbia’s Interior.

Interior Health says police contacted them in January about finding a document during its investigation that contained everything from social insurance numbers to home addresses for about 20,000 people.

The information covered people who worked at Interior Health from 2003 to 2009, although the authority says no patient information was in the document.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP say there have been no arrests or charges stemming from the document’s discovery, and police released the information so that those who might be affected “can take the necessary steps to safeguard themselves.”

Interior Health is urging anyone who was working there during those years to reach out immediately to determine if their information was on the document.

The health authority says it has hired external security experts to review the situation, and no personal information on the document has been exposed online.

“Interior Health’s top priority is to ensure that personal information is always protected,” Interior Health vice-president of digital health Brent Kruschel says in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2024.

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