Friday, February 23, 2024

Military misconduct: Deal exposed to other breaches of privacy

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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OTTAWA – The company overseeing the federal government’s $900 million settlement deal with military victims of sexual misconduct has admitted to other violations of privacy.

Epiq Class Action Services Canada this week confirmed additional errors after a veteran called the Canadian Press to report receiving an email containing the personal details of another claimant late last year.

France Minnard said she decided to speak up after reading an article in The Canadian Press last month that alleged that Epiq inadvertently sent his ex-Force colleague Amy Green the names, email addresses and claim numbers of dozens of other applicants.

Epiq then said it mistakenly disclosed “limited information” from fewer than 100 of the 20,000 people who sought compensation in a class action settlement to another plaintiff.

“She’s clearly not the only one,” Frans Menard said in an interview from her home in Fredericton, New Brunswick. People are now wondering if their information is available. »

DND and attorney Jonathan Ptak, who represents some of the veterans and military involved in the three lawsuits settled by the government, said IPIC has since confirmed three different breaches of privacy.

These include the breaches reported by the company on February 8, when The Canadian Press asked about information sent to Amy Green, and another on February 24, when Epiq was asked about the email sent to France Menard. , which she received in November.

“We are aware of two incidents of unintended disclosures affecting 91 members of the band that were reported earlier in February, and have just learned of an additional unintended disclosure involving a band member,” Jonathan Ptak said in an email.

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IPIC has not confirmed the number of actual or alleged violations to the Canadian Press. But the company, which was appointed by the federal court to administer the settlement agreement concluded in November 2019, said it had launched a “thoroughly” investigation and had taken steps to prevent problems in the future.

“Epiq takes all data security issues very seriously,” Angela Hoedas, vice president of marketing and communications, said in a statement.

“While our investigation continues, we are communicating directly with our customers, reporting claimants we confirm have been affected, and making additional improvements to existing operations.”

The information sent to Ms. Maynard and Ms. Green consists of the individual plaintiffs’ names along with their claim numbers, which can be used to submit documents through a secure link on the class action website.

Angela Hoedas said that Epic will review these documents after that and the individual files will not be available.

France Menard and Amy Green say they are not satisfied with IPIC’s response, particularly given the sensitive nature of the claims and the settlement agreement.

Both say they are now concerned about disclosing their information and believe the company has not been as open as it should be about unintended disclosures.

“They just want to pretend it never happened,” said Amy Green, who said she received personal information on 40 other plaintiffs last year. “How many people are affected? It is undeniable that I am not the only one. [L’entreprise] responsible for at least three crimes.”

Both said that despite requests from the company, they refused to delete emails they had inadvertently received until they were sure of the true scope of the privacy breach. Amy Green said she also sought legal advice.

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Le bureau du commissaire à la protection de la vie privée a confirmé la semaine dernière qu’il avait reçu un rapport de violation de la vie privée et continuait de travailler avec Epiq et le ministère de la Défense pour obtenir plus et les d’informations Next steps.

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