Data of nearly 70,000 federal workers at risk due to email mix-up

Data of nearly 70,000 federal workers at risk due to email mix-up | Insurance Business

Data of nearly 70,000 federal workers at risk due to email mix-up

Over 69,000 federal workers have had their personal information accidentally emailed to the wrong department.

According to reports, the Phoenix electronic payroll system has been dogged by a series of issues. Since it launched in 2016, it has reportedly improperly underpaid and/or overpaid thousands of government workers.

It was the responsibility of the government agency Public Services and Procurement Canada to update departmental heads of human resources and chief financial officers every two weeks of any cases of the employee overpayments. However, a report from Public Services and Procurement Canada, naming 69,087 federal employees, was accidentally emailed to the wrong departments earlier this month. The agency said that the report it accidentally sent included the employees’ full names, their personal record identifier numbers, home addresses and even the overpayment amounts they each received.

A statement on Public Services and Procurement Canada’s website said that over 161 chief financial officers and 62 heads of HR in 62 departments had received the unintentional email.

The department has stated that it has taken steps to contain and destroy the information it accidentally sent and had notified the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Public Services and Procurement Canada also said that affected employees would be notified in the days to come.

CBC News reported that Public Services and Procurement Canada has stopped its overpayment reports until the investigation over the breach has concluded. Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand also told the media outlet in an email statement that the department will “fully re-evaluate the way in which personal information is stored and used.”