Victim of privacy breach at BC Pension Corporation angered by delay in notification
The breach was discovered by the agency in January. (CTV Vancouver Island)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, April 5, 2019 5:24PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 5, 2019 6:29PM PDT
A victim of a massive privacy breach at the BC Pension Corporation says he is shocked by the lack of transparency and delay in notification from the agency.
Approximately 8,200 members of the College Pension Plan, who had paid into the pension between 1982 and 1997, had their personal and financial details exposed when a box of microfiche was found to be missing during an office move in Victoria.
The breach was discovered by the agency in January. Yet, Vancouver Island University professor Stephen Davies wasn't notified until the end of March.
"It was a shock," Davies told CTV News. "It has my full name, my social insurance number, my date of birth, employment record – everything is gone."
BC Pension Corporation spokesperson Sherry Sheffman said members have been advised to contact the federal government to acquire a credit report.
"What concerns me is first of all, obviously, identity theft," Davies said. "When they declared a privacy breach, that was the end of January. It took them two months to notify me and I had no sense of actually when it was lost."
The pension corporation says the reason for the delay was due to the age of the data and the need to pull backup data.
Davies said the corporation told him "not to be concerned because it was on microfiche, which nobody can really access anymore."
Davies called that logic "an entire fabrication."
"They're trying to pass it off as it's secure because no one can use it," he said. "That's totally wrong."
The corporation said it has hired a private cybersecurity firm to determine if any information is still at risk.
"I'd like more transparency," Davies said. "I think they were just going to keep it quiet until no one said anything."
The box containing the microfiche is approximately the size of a Kleenex box, the corporation said.
Davies said he plans to file complaint with the B.C. Privacy Commissioner.