PCs want more accountability to protect people’s personal information

March 31, 2015 at 9:06 am

Houston introduces bill in the Legislature

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HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative MLA for Pictou East, Tim Houston says the McNeil Liberals must be more accountable for protecting people’s personal information.

Today in the Legislature, Houston brought forward an amendment to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act that would require the Liberal government to notify individuals if their personal information has been breached.

In December, the Nova Scotia Auditor General’s report found “significant security weaknesses” at the Department of Community Services saying they were “able to gain unauthorized access to confidential information contained in Integrated Case Management” system. Not one of those individuals has been notified.

“Thousands of Nova Scotians have no idea their personal information was easily accessed,” said Houston. “People trust the government to protect their sensitive information. It is their right to know if their privacy has been compromised. The Liberals must take Nova Scotians’ privacy and security seriously.”

The Government collects a wide range of sensitive, personal information. Nova Scotians need to know that all safeguards are in place to stop breaches and to alert them if there is one.

Currently the Liberal government does not keep track of the number of privacy breaches. The Government of British Columbia records the number of privacy breaches annually by department. Between 2010 and 2013, 2718 instances of privacy breaches were recorded.

Houston says it is unacceptable for Nova Scotia to lag behind other provinces on protecting personal information.

A competent government would recognize the importance of accountability for people’s sensitive information.