Thursday, October 1, 2015

MLA Rice raises issue of missing data in Legislature session

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
at the Legislature September 30th

After spending two days in Prince Rupert observing the proceedings of the Coroner's Inquest into the deaths of Angie and Robert Robinson, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice made her first appearance of the fall session of the Legislature on Wednesday.

Settling in on day three of the new schedule, Ms. Rice rose at the end of Question Period to raise her concerns related to the revelation of last week, that the Ministry of Education had lost an un-encrypted hard drive containing personal information of over 9,000 British Columbians.

"Information about the province's most vulnerable children is missing because this minister failed to keep it safe. Highly personal information about 9,273 people was collected by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and stored on this missing hard drive — highly sensitive information on children in the system who moved schools and lived in difficult circumstances, entrusted to this government. But this government broke this trust. 

To the minister responsible for data security, when is he going to contact these 9,200 people and warn them about the risks to their personal information?"

For her efforts Amrik Virk, the Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services advised that the Information and Privacy Commissioner would be working alongside the Chief Information Officer of the government to analyze the duplicate hard drive, in order to assess which individuals need to be notified and plan how they will approach that notification process.

You can review her contribution to the discussion from the Legislature record her comments appear just before the 14:35 mark. You can also view the Question Period proceedings from the September 30th edition of their Video feed, Ms. Rice's question is delivered at the very end of that session.

Further background on the lost hard drive can be found below.

September 25 -- Hard drive with personal information on 3.4 million B. C. students lost
September 23 -- The latest B. C. government data breach is the biggest by far
September 23 -- Missing hard drive will likely cost dearly
September 22 -- B. C. education data breach: government can't find unencrypted hard drive
September 22 -- B. C. student data breach could affect more than 3 million people (video)

For more information related to education matters see our archive page here.

Further background on the work of the North Coast MLA can be found on our Legislative archive page.

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