NEWS RELEASE · 2nd October 2012
The privacy breach at the Transportation Investment Corporation could have been prevented had the Crown corporation followed the direction taken by government ministries following breaches in 2009, 2010 and 2011, say the New Democrats.
“The corporation didn’t properly screen new employees, and the result is they hired someone who was using two identities,” said New Democrat critic for privacy issues, Doug Routley. “It’s troubling that the government simply didn’t learn its lesson. They have had similar breaches over the past three years.
“British Columbians have every right to be concerned about the Liberals’ commitment to protecting their private data when they see the government making the same mistake over and over again.”
The security breach involves the credit card and payment information of 271 drivers who registered for tolling on the Port Mann Bridge by phone at the Coquitlam call centre. The corporation has acknowledged they hired an employee who provided a false name.
In 2009, a Ministry for Children and Families employee was allegedly hired after providing a false name to avoid disclosing a criminal record. The Liberals claimed they learned their lesson after that case, but Routley says the problems have clearly not been adequately addressed across the government.
“This is the fourth significant privacy breach over the past four years,” said Routley. “It seems obvious that the proper screening processes were not put in place, and the result is the private information of 271 individuals is put at risk.
“The government needs to show clearly that all ministries, crown corporations and government agencies have closed these serious gaps.”