The audience laughed when Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian said she got called on a weekend over a major privacy breach. “I don’t know how they got my home number,” she said teasing.
Cavoukian rushed downtown to Toronto’s Wellington Street to find thousands of patient health records strewn around as part of a set for a mini-series on 9/11. The production company had asked a recycling company to provide some paper for the scene. That they did.
Upon investigation, Cavoukian found that the health care provider had made an error, sending the documents to recycling instead of shredding.
After her story she said it was the CBC who tipped her off and that she had voluntarily given her number to the reporter. No breach after all.
The story was one of many as Cavoukian spoke October 25 at the Longwood’s Breakfast with the Chiefs forum at the University of Toronto.
Cavoukian says that you can avoid privacy by disaster by following privacy by design – by building systems intentionally with security in mind.