The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reports that a third-party courier service has lost, and is searching for, a DVD containing the private information of approximately 28,000 taxpayers in the Yukon, who were residents of the territory in the 2014 taxation year.
The CRA has notified the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada about the lost disc; the agency has also sent up an info line for taxpayers that may be affected and will be notifying them by letter as well.
“At this time, there is no indication that the data have been accessed or used,” the CRA says, noting that the data are encrypted. “Given the strong security measures in place, the risk is thought to be very low that the taxpayers’ information would be compromised even if an unauthorized individual were to gain possession of the DVD.”
Encrypted CDs and DVDs are commonly used to exchange tax information between government agencies, the CRA says, and that the use of these forms of media “is subject to stringent requirements” in terms of how they are handled, stored and accessed. “An initial internal investigation indicates that CRA personnel complied with government and agency policies that govern physical security, encryption and password protection,” it notes.
However, in the wake of this event, the CRA says that it will look at whether it should strengthen its data security practices.
“The CRA takes the protection of Canadians’ tax information very seriously,” the agency reports. “The confidence and trust that individuals and businesses have in the CRA is a cornerstone of Canada’s tax system.”
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