A Canada-wide class action suit against the federal government has been launched by a firm called Merchant Law Group over missing student loan information.
Last Friday, The Department of Human Resources and Skill Development announced that an external hard drive containing the private details of more than a half-million borrowers from 2000 to 2006 was missing.
The department says there no banking or medical information was included on the portable hard drive, but it did contain student names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, contact information and loan balance of Canada Student Loan borrowers.
Tony Merchant of Merchant Law described the reasons for the action.
“Merchant Law Group is filing class action lawsuits with the Courts in Calgary and Winnipeg, with similar actions to follow shortly as part of Canada-wide class action litigation against the federal government for this serious loss of personal information concerning more than 580,000 Canadians. One of the many important issues raised in this litigation is that this privacy breach involves the federal government having lost not just people’s names and addresses, but also their SIN numbers and dates of birth, and that a loss discovered in early November was only disclosed to the Canadian public in January”, he said. “The people who have contacted our law firm wish to be promptly protected from identity theft or other misuse of their personal information.”
Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, said the department would make every effort to contact those whose information was lost, and that she “directed that departmental officials take a number of immediate actions to ensure that such an unnecessary situation does not happen again”.
Here’s the link for information on the class action suit.