September 23rd, 2019

N.W.T. faces lawsuit over health data breach that could affect all residents

By The Canadian Press on September 12, 2019.

EDMONTON – The Northwest Territories is facing a lawsuit over a stolen laptop containing medical files that could include information on every resident in the territory.

The files were not encrypted and contained data on all kinds of physical and mental-health services to anyone who sought care in the territory, including visitors.

A statement of claim filed in Yellowknife suggests that leaves more than 40,000 people open to identity theft, fraud, harassment and robbery.

The laptop was stolen in Ottawa from a parked vehicle in May 2018 and has not been found.

Steven Cooper, an Edmonton-area lawyer bringing the suit, says losing private data has become a pattern for the territorial government.

He points to a bag full of counselling files found at a municipal dump and private medical records sent in error to a news outlet.

Cooper says he and his colleagues have talked to about 50 people interested in joining the suit.

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