Statement from Tim Houston on the freedom of information website privacy breach

"Today Nova Scotians have again learned of unauthorized access to confidential personal information. The Privacy Commissioner has raised concerns over privacy breach notification numerous times in recent years. Nova Scotians should be able to trust their government with confidential personal information.

The Government must be held to a higher standard. This breach occurred between March 3 and March 5 and they failed to make this public until April 11. If this were a major retailer, heads would roll.

In 2015, in the aftermath of a report from Nova Scotia's Auditor General which found "significant security weaknesses" at the Department of Community Services, I introduced legislation to require the rapid notification of a privacy breach to those affected. The government needs to be proactive in notifying Nova Scotians when their personal information has been compromised.

The government needs to act and put in place appropriate standards for reporting privacy breaches as recommended by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia."

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