Saturday, March 04, 2006

Big Brother is a blabbermouth - twice

The B.C. government has auctioned off computer tapes containing thousands of personal records, including information about people's medical conditions, their personal lives, their social insurance numbers and their dates of birth.
You can leverage a lot of information about someone with just their birthday and SIN and these hi-def tapes opened on Microsoft Office.
Mary Carlson, director of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of B.C., says this is the second time this mistake has occurred.

And the only reason we know about it is because the guy who bought the tapes at auction for $300 not knowing what was on them took them to the Vancouver Sun.



Bazz said...

One question here: What did the fellow who bought the tapes think he was getting?

Alison said...

From the March 4 Vancouver Sun:

"The person who bought the reusable tapes says he intended to sell them as blanks for a profit, and only recently discovered they were filled with information. He gave the tapes to The Vancouver Sun out of concern that other information might not be properly destroyed, and did so on the condition of anonymity."

This is quite plausible, Bazz, as government routinely auctions off job lots of obsolete office supplies.

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