B.C. government hard drive containing millions of student records is missing

Dec 20 2017, 1:33 am

A missing backup hard drive containing student personal information in B.C. and the Yukon from 1986 to 2009 has spawned an internal review by the Office of the Chief Information Officer, according to a government statement.

Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk announced the review and said they’re ensuring the government is trying their best to protect the information of those involved in the security breach. Millions of names, postal codes, grades, and personal education numbers were on the hard drive, as well as more sensitive information like health and behaviour issues of some children.

“British Columbians expect us to ensure their information is safe – and this is an incident that should have never happened,” said Virk in the statement.

“The Ministry of Education will be the first ministry to be examined as part of this cross-government review. British Columbians deserve the highest standards of information management.”

It was discovered the hard drive was missing during a complete records review by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry looked everywhere, both physically and electronically, for the missing data but couldn’t locate the Western Digital hard drive. It was one of two backups created back in 2011.

Vick said the Service BC Info line is open for anyone who believes their information might be on that hard drive and questions about what sort of information it would be. The contact centre is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached via the following numbers:

  • Victoria: 250 387-6121
  • Vancouver: 604 660-2421
  • Elsewhere in B.C.: 1 800 663-7867

At the moment, the government has no reason to believe that the information has been accessed or leaked in anyway, and there is no personal financial or banking information on the hard drive.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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