Monday, November 28, 2022
Home New Release More privacy breaches affect military sexual misconduct class action members

More privacy breaches affect military sexual misconduct class action members

The company overseeing the federal government’s $900-million settlement deal with military members who experienced sexual misconduct in uniform has admitted to more privacy breaches.

Epiq Class Action Services Canada confirmed the additional errors last week after a second veteran came forward to The Canadian Press to report having received an email containing the personal details of a different claimant late last year.

Read more:

Military sexual misconduct class action members’ details accidentally released

France Menard said she decided to speak up after reading a Canadian Press report last month about Epiq having inadvertently sent fellow veteran Amy Green the names, email addresses and claim numbers of dozens of other claimants.

Epiq at that time said it had mistakenly disclosed “limited information” about fewer than 100 of the 20,000 people who have applied for compensation as part of the class-action settlement to one other claimant.

Story continues below advertisement

“Obviously she’s not the only one,” Menard said in an interview from her home in Fredericton, N.B. “People now are wondering: Is my information out there?”

The Department of National Defence and lawyer Jonathan Ptak, who represents some of the veterans and active service members involved in the three lawsuits settled by the government, said Epiq has since confirmed three different privacy breaches.

Those include two breaches reported by the company on Feb. 8, when The Canadian Press first asked about the information sent to Green, and another on Feb. 24, when Epiq was asked about the email sent to Menard, which she received in November.

‘We apologize’: Trudeau says survivors of military sexual misconduct must be the centre of ‘everything’

‘We apologize’: Trudeau says survivors of military sexual misconduct must be the centre of ‘everything’ – Dec 13, 2021

“We are aware of the two incidents of inadvertent disclosures that affected 91 class members which were reported about earlier in February and have just been made aware of an additional inadvertent disclosure involving one class member,” Ptak said in an email.

Story continues below advertisement

Epiq did not confirm the number of actual or suspected breaches to The Canadian Press. But the company, which the Federal Court appointed to administer the November 2019 settlement deal, said it has launched an “extensive” investigation and taken steps to prevent future issues.

“Epiq takes any issues associated with data security very seriously,” said Angela Hoidas, vice-president of marketing and communications, in a statement.

“Even as our investigation remains ongoing, we are communicating directly with our clients, notifying claimants we confirm have been affected, and have implemented additional enhancements to existing processes.”

The information sent to Menard and Green consists of the names of individual claimants as well as their claim numbers, which can be used to submit documents through a secure link on the class-action website.

Click to play video: 'Claims in Canadian military sexual misconduct lawsuit nearly double'

Claims in Canadian military sexual misconduct lawsuit nearly double

Claims in Canadian military sexual misconduct lawsuit nearly double – Nov 8, 2021

Hoidas has said such documents would then be reviewed by Epiq, and that individual files cannot be accessed.

Story continues below advertisement

Menard and Green say they are unsatisfied with Epiq’s response, particularly given the sensitive nature of the claims and settlement deal.

Read more:

Could talks between the military and sexual misconduct survivors bring change?

Both say they are now worried about their own information having been released, and believe the company has not been as forthcoming as it should be about the inadvertent disclosures.

“They just want to pretend like it never happened,” said Green, who said she received personal information about 40 other claimants last year. “How many people are affected? It’s undeniable that it’s more than just myself now. They’re up to three (breaches).”

Both said that despite the company’s requests, they have declined to delete the emails they inadvertently received until they are confident about the true scope of the privacy breach. Green said she has also sought legal advice on next steps.

The office of the privacy commissioner confirmed last week that it had received a privacy breach report, and was continuing to work with Epiq and the Defence Department to obtain more information and determine next steps.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Surrey council to revisit police transition issues at Monday’s meeting

The controversial issue of the future of policing in Surrey is set to be debated once again. A report requested by the province will be...

Maritimers cheer as Canadian men score first World Cup goal despite loss

Maritimers came out in droves Sunday to watch Canada’s men’s soccer team take on Croatia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 2022 tournament marks...

A bunch of Sonos speakers are 20 percent off for Cyber Monday

/ The deal covers a bunch of Sonos speakers and soundbars and is matched by Best Buy, Target, and more.The Arc is 20...

7 dead, including newborn, after landslide on Italy’s Ischia island

Search teams have recovered seven dead, including a 3-week-old infant and a pair of young siblings, buried in mud and debris that hurtled down...