B.C. Ministry of Health fires 5 for privacy breach

Number of breaches ‘increasing exponentially,’ says industry expert
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/10/2012

In September, the British Columbia Ministry of Health fired five employees and suspended two others for alleged misuse of confidential medical information. The employees were working with contractors on drug-related research and it is believed they went outside the rules around taking and using data, said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid.

“We take all allegations of this nature very seriously,” she said. “We must ensure confidence is maintained in the integrity of the public service to execute its responsibilities in a manner that meets the high standards of conduct expected by the public.”

Privacy breaches have “increased exponentially in the last five or six years,” said Michael Collins, regional vice-president of Shred-it in Oakville, Ont. Two-thirds of large organizations have suffered a data breach, found a survey of 1,000 Canadian employers by Shred-it.