Interior Health (IH) has enlisted the support of external security and privacy experts as it investigates information breaches involving the personal information of about 500 current and former employees. The information was found in the possession of two separate individuals arrested by Lower Mainland RCMP on two separate occasions in the last three months.
“The protection of our employees’ personal information is extremely important to us,” says Mal Griffin, Vice-President for Human Resources. “We take this seriously, including the distress this situation may cause for our staff, and have moved quickly to investigate this matter.”
Griffin stresses this situation is limited to employee records only; there is no concern for patient information.
IH has contacted all impacted current employees and is in the process of notifying former employees. All are being offered one year of credit-monitoring services.
IH first became aware of a potential information breach in late June when it was contacted by Lower Mainland RCMP following the arrest of an individual who had possession of personal information of a number of people, the majority of whom were identified as IH employees. An internal investigation was initiated and impacted employees were immediately notified. Then, on Sept. 20, IH was notified by RCMP of a second, similar situation involving a different individual.
“It’s unclear how this information was obtained, but we see some linkages between the two incidents which has resulted in us enlisting the support of external security consultants,” says Griffin, adding that IH continues to assist the RCMP to the full extent possible on these cases, and has also reported both incidents with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.