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Human Error Blamed in Provincial Department Privacy Breach

August 28, 2020 9:18 AM | News

Cyber Security

WINNIPEG — The province is reporting a privacy breach surrounding the personal information of clients who use Children’s Disability Services (CDS).

Manitoba Families says CDS staff accidentally sent an email intended for the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth to about 100 agencies and advocacy groups on Wednesday.

The email contained a spreadsheet with information about approximately 9,000 children who are CDS clients, as well as information about a matter currently being reviewed by MACY. It included personal information about these children, including their diagnosis and address, but did not include personal health identification numbers, social insurance numbers or any financial information. The spreadsheet was password-protected, but the password was also provided.


Calls were made to the recipients of the email to ensure the information was deleted.

All those affected will be contacted to be advised of the breach and issued an apology for the error. The province will also follow up by email or mail.

“Manitoba Families recognizes it has a serious responsibility to protect the personal information of its clients,” the province said in a release.

“The mistake was human error, however, the department is following up with staff to review and improve processes to avoid this happening again.”

The Manitoba Ombudsman has also been notified of the breach, as is standard practice.