Government privacy breach leaks info on 9,000 Children’s Disability Services clients

By | August 28, 2020

The Manitoba government says there has been a privacy breach that unintentionally shared personal information about Children’s Disability Services clients.

The information was shared with with service agencies and community advocates that work with individuals with disabilities, Manitoba Families said.

“On Aug. 26, CDS staff accidentally sent an email intended for the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) to about 100 agencies and advocacy groups,” a Friday morning news release from the province said.

“The email contained a spreadsheet with information about approximately 9,000 children who are CDS clients, as well as information about a matter currently being reviewed by MACY.”

The email included personal information about the children, including their diagnoses and addresses, but did not include personal health identification numbers, social insurance numbers or any financial information, the news release says.

The mistake was human error, however the department is following up with staff to review and improve processes to avoid this happening again– Manitoba government news release

The spreadsheet was password protected, but the password was also provided.

The province on Thursday called all the recipients to ensure the email was deleted.

“Manitoba Families has agreements in place with service providers that set out expectations for protecting personal information, in addition to their broader legal requirement to protect privacy and confidentiality,” Friday’s news release says.

The province said it is also calling all of the affected families to advise them of the breach and to apologize.

“The mistake was human error, however the department is following up with staff to review and improve processes to avoid this happening again,” the news release says.

The matter has also been referred to the Manitoba ombudsman, as is standard practice, the province said.

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