NS reports another online privacy breach this time at Halifax school board

first_imgHALIFAX – There’s been another online privacy breach in Nova Scotia, this time involving an internet-based registration system used by Halifax’s school board.The board, now known as the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, called in the province’s privacy commissioner on Monday after the board shut down registration for its Excel after-school program for elementary students.The move came after some users reported they could see other people’s personal information, including medical data.The board issued a statement saying registration opened at 8 a.m., and the website was shut down 37 minutes later when the breach was reported. In all, about 3,200 parents or guardians received access codes during that time period, and all of them have been notified of the potential breach.Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s auditor general agreed Monday to investigate an earlier privacy breach.On April 11, Halifax police arrested a 19-year-old man after the government confirmed about 7,000 documents were inappropriately accessed through the province’s freedom-of-information internet portal between March 3 and March 5.The unnamed teenager faces the seldom-laid charge of unauthorized use of a computer.About 250 documents contained sensitive personal information, including social insurance numbers and government services’ client information.The breach was first noticed on April 5, but the government did not alert the public until April 11.Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab says she views the auditor general’s role as “supportive and complementary” to an investigation already announced by Catherine Tully, the province’s information and privacy commissioner.As for Monday’s breach, Dartmouth resident Kevin Dolan told Global News that when he was finished with the board’s registration process, a different student’s name appeared, and then lists appeared showing other people’s family members, caregivers, as well as their phone numbers and information about potential allergies.The province’s opposition New Democrats issued a statement saying the Liberal government owes Nova Scotians an explanation.“Today’s breach is another upsetting sign that the Liberal government is not doing enough to ensure the public’s private information is secure when accessing government services,” said NDP critic Claudia Chender.“Nova Scotians trust the government with a great deal of personal information. We need to know that information is being protected in the most secure way possible.”The Excel program, which also offers before-school care for elementary student, is available in 62 elementary schools.last_img

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