I live in a house with my boyfriend and his niece. She has been in the process of applying for school along with grants/bursaries ect. Part of this process was to get documentation. After requesting her step-fathers death certificate, she received the form in the mail to fill out – attached to it was another fully completed form for another person including their information (name, address, date of birth, social insurance number, mothers maiden name, all the information for the person whose certificate they were requesting plus full credit card information including security code and expiry date). She called the office to notify them (the person that took the call did not seem too worried) and was told to fax the erroneously received letter back to the office with a letter of explanation. Not to mail the original with all the information so that she no longer had it – not to drop the letter off at the nearest office so that it was no longer in her possession – when I asked a friend that works in the escalations department of my office (also government and she dealt with cases of breach of privacy), she couldn’t believe the other office wanted us to keep the original. In our office, any breach is immediately escalated to the highest person in our resolutions. My boyfriends niece did fax it, but also called the other person to inform them of this breach (without luck, no answering machine) and mailed the original form to that person.
Part of the applications that she was doing was to also get funding from EI for training. She was in contact with the EI office for information. This morning at 7:50 my boyfriend answered a phone call (thinking who the hell was calling this early). A person from EI was calling to talk to his niece. He said that she was probably still asleep, but he’d check. The guy said “well this is the EI office and she SHOULD be out looking for a job, not sleeping”. Keep in mind this EI person did not know who he was talking to and my boyfriend informed him of that (“Look I’m not her father, I don’t know why you are saying this to me”) and on top of that she is working! In fact I work full time but later and was still asleep at this time. My boyfriend said he would check, knowing full well she was asleep (she starts at 12 today), put the guy on hold for five minutes then returned to say she was out and asked to take a message. He also told the guy to never call again that early, and not to be so rude, to which he replied “thanks, bye” and hung up.
Summary – One government office accidentally sends us enough of someone else’s information to cause serious damage if we were not honest and didn’t seem to care when it was reported. Another calls before 8 am, upset that (what he assumed was an unemployed person) was sleeping at 7:50am instead of out looking for a job.