Important security information for CBC/Radio-Canada employees and outside contractors

May 16, 2018

An intruder recently broke into a secure area of CBC/Radio-Canada, stealing a piece of computer equipment. CBC/Radio-Canada immediately initiated an investigation and reported the theft to law enforcement.

During our investigation we discovered that the stolen computer equipment, while password-protected, may contain electronic files, including some personal financial information of people who have worked with CBC/Radio-Canada over the past year and a half. These include current employees, outside contractors and some former employees. Each individual potentially affected is receiving a letter at their home with more information specific to them.

CBC/Radio-Canada takes the security of personal information very seriously. We are not aware of any actual or attempted misuse of personal information. Nevertheless, we are contacting everyone who could potentially be affected, and have set up a response line to answer their questions. We are also working with the consumer credit agency Equifax to minimize the risk to individuals.

Q: What kind of data was on the computer equipment?
A: We believe it may contain banking information, in some cases including names and account numbers, year-end tax slip details, record of employment or SIN numbers. The information on file is not the same for everyone. We are providing specific details to each individual potentially affected in their letter. Individuals should feel free to call the response line if they need confirmation regarding their particular set of information.

Q: Who could be affected?
A: Current employees and employees on extended leave, as well as outside contractors and former employees from the past year and a half.

Q: Why didn’t your security systems prevent this?
A: We have information security procedures as well as security on our premises. Protecting personal information is of utmost importance to us and we are now reviewing how this occurred. Security camera footage has identified an intruder. We have turned that information over to the authorities. We have no indication of any actual or attempted misuse of information, however we take this very seriously and we are making sure such a situation does not happen again.

Q: What are the possible impacts for people?
A: Financial information is sometimes used for fraud, identity theft and phishing. To help safeguard against any potential misuse of personal information, we encourage people to review their account statements for suspicious or unauthorized activity. If they believe their information has been misused, they can contact the response line or their bank. To support all affected individuals, we are offering credit monitoring and identity theft insurance through Equifax at no charge for the next year.

Q: What are you doing next?
A: We have sent a letter to each person who could potentially be affected. In it, we provide details of what happened and what we’re doing about it, including free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. We are taking steps to minimize any risk of a future incident with heightened data management and encryption as well as changes to our physical security. We are also reviewing our policies on information security.

Q: Have you informed the Privacy Commissioner?
A: We informed the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada of the incident as well as the measures we are putting in place to prevent something like this from happening again.

The Privacy Commission’s mission is to protect and promote privacy rights. It also enforces Canada’s privacy laws, and assists when an individual is unable to resolve a privacy issue with an organization. If you have been unable to resolve a privacy issue, you may file a formal complaint with the OPC. Additional information is available at http://priv.gc.ca.

Q: I haven’t yet received my letter from CBC/Radio-Canada. What should I do?
A: If you have not received a letter by Tuesday, May 22nd please contact our dedicated response line at 1-866-656-4652.

Q: Why did CBC/Radio-Canada choose Equifax?
A: Equifax is the consumer credit agency that can best provide information, monitoring and protection services for all potentially affected individuals across the country.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

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