WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says it’s investigating an unusual data breach following the theft of documents containing the personal information of dozens of individuals.
The health authority explains the documents, containing client names, birth dates, phone numbers, addresses, and personal health information, were in a bag that was left in a staff member’s vehicle, and on their way to a WRHA facility to be safely shredded. It also contained the employee’s daily schedule. That bag ended up getting stolen when the worker briefly left it unattended while making a quick stop at their home to retrieve something.
The WRHA says none of the documents contained any financial information, and it’s in direct contact with those impacted by the breach, providing tips on how to prevent identity theft and fraud. The personal information related to nearly 60 home care clients who had received services in March, and the documents have yet to be recovered.
Apologizing for the incident, the organization says it’s also in the process of conducting an internal investigation to ensure that all of its staff protocols were followed, and taking steps to ensure a breach like this never happens again.
The Winnipeg Police Service has information available on how to avoid personal information being used for identity theft or fraud.