Local woman alarmed to find government agency lost personal info

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Stacee Atkins is not a happy person this week.

She has discovered that she is one of the 583,000 Canada Student Loan borrowers whose name, date of birth and social insurance number, among other personal information, was on a hard drive that went missing in November from a Quebec office.

The external hard drive contained information of borrowers with loans from 2000 to 2006. Letters are being sent out to notify those affected. People with loans from that period can also call in to see if they’re one of the affected.

Atkins, who lives in Salt Springs, said she called and was alarmed to find out her information was potentially in someone else’s hands.

“It makes a person very insecure about their government,” she said.

Even though there wasn’t believed to be any banking information on the drive, she was instructed to call the credit bureau to let them know about it so they could keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

She said it’s not fair to her that she has to be worrying about this sort of thing now.

“They’re not going to brush this one away. I paid a lot of money paying off that student loan,” she said. “I’m looking for them to do right for me.”

She said she’s heard of a lawyer in Newfoundland who is starting a class action suit for those affected and she plans to put her name on the list.

Geographic location: Quebec, Salt Springs, Newfoundland

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  • Patty Rose
    January 18, 2013 - 08:48

    It should be the Government calling the credit bureau and letting them know the whole list of whose information was lost. It's their fault that it happened in the first place so they should be sending that information on as a curtious to all those that are affected. Also was just wondering how do we find out if we are one of the ones who had their information on this hard drive?

    • Sarah
      January 18, 2013 - 09:17

      I was one too. Just about everyone I've heard of has been included. People need to call to find out and not rely on CSL to send them a letter. Many of us have been told they didn't have an address on file so if we had sat back and waited on a letter to come to see if we were affected, it never would have come so we'd be assuming we were not affected when in fact, we were! I was told by CSL that THEY had flagged the SIN's of all affected and they were being monitored. People can also request copies of their credit reports from both Equifax and Transunion for free and there is a subscription service available for anyone that would like to go that route. Possibly the worst part is that this breach supposedly occured back in November but they are only telling people now and the RCMP only recently got involved! It should have been done immediately. Changing your SIN is really not an option either. It can only be changed for special circumstances and you have to prove that it's been used fraudulently. If you get a new SIN, you are also still potentially liable for anything that happens under the old SIN so you really only end up worrying about 2 numbers! If you want to call to check if you're affected, you can call 1-866-885-1866 from 8am to 8pm EST and the lawyer collecting names for a class action lawsuit is Bob Buckingham in NL. His website is: http://www.buckinghamlaw.ca/canada-student-loans-privacy-breach.html There is also a Facebook page for more information: Victims of the Canada Student Loans Program Security Breach.