New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - How to proceed with privacy breach?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

How to proceed with privacy breach?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
bkln_mike View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 22/September/2006
Points: 1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkln_mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How to proceed with privacy breach?
    Posted: 22/September/2006 at 7:44am
Hi all:

I have a loan in collection with a Canadian agency which I have been
paying off regularly for the last few years - I'm making progress with it. :)
It was a federal loan which was split from my other RBC loans and so it
wasn't brought to my attention until it went to collection... but anyway.

I recently received my usual monthly letter from the agency thanking me
for payment and detailing what I have left to pay, etc.

I was surprised to find another sheet inside the envelope which turns out
to be a letter for another student loan debtor. The letter includes the
person's SIN number (used as the loan reference number, as is mine), US
address, and information about the student loan debt.

This is obviously a serious breach of privacy. The question is, how to
proceed? I could just forget about it, but it strikes me as rather a nasty
thing (even if its a mistake) and I certainly do not want the same thing to
happen to me.
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
administrator View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25/January/2003
Points: 1765
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/September/2006 at 11:03pm
You should file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner

This is the website you should go to get info on filing a complaint.
http://www.privcom.gc.ca/contactus/index_e.asp

Let us know how it goes!

There are simlar complaint findings posted ...
http://www.privcom.gc.ca/cf-dc/2006/337_20060609_e.asp
Administrator

-------------

Mark O'Meara

Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/September/2006 at 11:19am

The same thing just happened to me today. I've been bugging Collect Com for payment histories and statements of account for a few months. I got an envelope from them today... with someone else's information, and quite a bit of it too.

I called them and my usual agent passed me over to his darling boss. I spoke to this guy once in the summer and thought he was a jerk. He's still a jerk, so I guess it's a lasting condition. 

Anyway, he asked me why I called about this and what I wanted him to do about. I said I had someone else's information and it shouldn't have happened. His response? A very casual "Yeah, that kind of stuff happens sometimes. Just throw it away".

Just throw it away? Yeah, ok. Is that what you're going to tell the person who received my stuff? Accidents do happen, but this shouldn't have, no matter what the circumstances. I bet he'd react differently had it been his information that had been carelessly mailed off to the wrong person.

What if I'm not a decent person? Maybe I want to use this other person's information to cause more problems for him. Maybe I just feel like leaving photocopies lying around so others can find them and do whatever they want.

Buff

Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/October/2006 at 7:11am

When I send in my complaint, should I include the papers I received for this other person (either original or copies)?

I was originally just going to shred the stuff and throw it out, but the manager's attitude changed that plan pretty fast.

Buff

Back to Top
administrator View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25/January/2003
Points: 1765
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/October/2006 at 8:17am
You should send in the material to them. Its your proof. The privacy commission can then direct them to inform the other party.

Mark
Administrator

-------------

Mark O'Meara

Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/January/2007 at 2:14pm
Update:
 
I got a letter today from the office of the privacy commissioner. It took them well over 2 months just to acknowledge my complaint, so I hold no expectations that it will be investigated anytime soon. I also have a feeling that Collect Com's recording of the conversation will mysteriously vanish soon, if it hasn't already.
 
Buff
 
 
This letter is to acknowledge receipt of your complaint under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the Act), received in our office on October 25, 2006. You have alleged that Collect Com Credit seems to not have appropriate security safeguards in place to protect personal information. Specifically, you advised that on September 26, 2006, you received an envelope from Collect Com Credit. In the envelope, you discovered several papers containing someone else's name, social insurance number and student loan information. You called the company and talked to Mr. ******* ******* who responded to you by saying "Yeah, that kind of stuff happens sometimes. Just throw it away." You question the security of personal information kept by Collect Com Credit.
 
This letter is also to inform you that we are presently experiencing abnormally high caseloads of investigations. While we have opened a file in this matter, your complaint has been placed in a queue awaiting the next available investigator. In the meantime, we have advised Collect Com Credit of the substance of your complaint and have asked for its representations in the matter. Once this information has been received and the file has been assigned to an investigator, we will complete the investigation. You should be aware, however, that your file will not likely be assigned to an investigator for some time.
 
You have the right to make representations to us before a finding is made in this matter. This means that at any time prior to the completion of our investigation, you may provide additional information or comments that you believe are relevant to your complaint.
 
We will make every effort to complete our investigation as soon as possible. Should you wish to provide additional information or comments with respect to our investigation, please do so in writing quoting the file number found at the top of this letter.
Back to Top
Johnny View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 05/November/2003
Location: Canada
Points: 5907
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/January/2007 at 1:34pm
Hey Buff,

This type of error does happen more than what would be considered "human error" within the student loan administration and management sector. The commission is severely backlogged as well, indeed. The government should take some of the multitude of billions that it earns and hire some more privacy people.

Johnny



Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/September/2008 at 3:21am

Updates at long last:

I believe hell has frozen over again. After a year and 11 months, this is starting to get resolved and wrapped up.
 
I finally talked to a guy at OPC last May. I told him my side of things and he said he'd go back to Collect Com, blah, blah, blah. In early June, I called him again to give a new address. That was the last contact for almost a year.
 
Fast forward to May long weekend this year. I got a letter from another OPC investigator saying my file has been passed on to him. He apologized for the delay, but didn't explain why it happened. He said he'd be in touch shortly.
 
About 2 weeks ago, I got a voice mail from this guy saying he had new information for me. After some major phone tag, I caught him today. Here's the overview of what he told me.
 
Collect Com admitted flat out to him that they screwed up. I thought they'd have to, given that there was proof, but apparently it's standard procedure to deny, deny, deny anyway.
 
The so-called manager I dealt with is, "due to unrelated circumstances, no longer working for the company". Duh. It's been 2 years, of course he's no longer there. Who sticks at a company like that for 2 years?
 
Their privacy policy is apparently different from what's on their website, so they're updating their website to reflect the new privacy policy. I didn't know they had a privacy policy in the first place.
 
They're also making the complaint process (and how to contact the CC ombudsman) easier and more efficient. I can only assume they want complaints to go directly to them, not get sent to outside agencies.
 
CC says an internal investigation reveals that my personal information wasn't given out to anyone else. They say I was the only person to make that request that day, so there was no other person for it to be sent to. They also say the guy whose information I got didn't request anything, so my stuff couldn't have gone to him. That argument seems a bit flawed. Maybe it didn't go to him, but he didn't request anything, yet his stuff was called up, printed off and mailed out anyway.
 
The information I requested (payment and interest history), which set off this whole thing in the first place, was sent out in September 2007, only a year after I asked for it. It was sent to an old address, so I never got it. This, of course, was after I'd already called Collect Com in June and given them the correct address, and after they'd been sending my montly statements to the new address for a few months with no problems.
 
I'm supposed to get a letter soon to cover all those points, as well as to give me the apology I've been fighting for. At my insistence, they say it'll be on company letterhead and have a name and signature on it, unlike anything else I've received from them in the past. Once I get this letter (a copy will also to be sent to OPC), OPC will consider the issue settled and will close the case. I'll try to get it up here when it comes. Given the slow pace of the investigation, I doubt it'll be anytime soon.
 
Buff
Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/January/2009 at 1:37am
Weird surprise today. I got a voice mail message from a guy named Eric at a Vancouver law firm. He said OPC retained him/them to deal with my case and get it solved.
 
I was supposed to call the OPC investigator when I got my apology from Collect Com. The message today said they claim to have sent it in September, but I haven't got it. There has been some ongoing confusion (though I don't know why) on Collect Com's part about what my address is. I lived in one town when I made the complaint in 2006. I phoned them and OPC in June 2007 with an address in Montreal. All my monthly statements since then have gone to Montreal, as has all correspondance from OPC. Collect Com higer ups who are dealing with this case keep sending stuff to the old address, even though they've been told of the new address a few times.
 
Anyway, this address debate seems to be what got it sent to the law firm, but I don't know the whole story yet. I haven't called either the law firm or OPC back because it was 6pm in Vancouver and 9pm in Toronto when I got the message. Is there anything I should know or say to them before I try on Monday?
 
Johnny (or Mark), is it common for OPC to get lawyers involved in stuff like this? They never told me they were doing it. I just found out in that voice mail today. Also, if it is normal, do they always use BC lawyers? They have a Montreal address on file for me, Collect Com is in Toronto and the loans were through OSAP.
 
Buff
Back to Top
Johnny View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 05/November/2003
Location: Canada
Points: 5907
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/January/2009 at 3:05pm
THis is bizarre. What province was the complaint filed in??
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/January/2009 at 8:13pm
I used a Quebec return address, so I guess it was filed in Quebec.


Back to Top
Johnny View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 05/November/2003
Location: Canada
Points: 5907
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/January/2009 at 7:47am
Are you in BC?
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/January/2009 at 3:34pm
No, I'm not. That's why I was so surprised to hear that a BC law firm was involved. 

I've had only Quebec addresses since my loans went to collection back in fall 2004. I'm not in Canada right now, but I'm still using a Quebec mailbox to collect anything that comes along.  

I'm going to call OPC on Monday to see what's up and ask why nobody told me about this, then call the Vancouver guy after that. 
Back to Top
Johnny View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 05/November/2003
Location: Canada
Points: 5907
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/January/2009 at 4:19pm

You should call ths attorney in Vancouver first and ask why he/she is approaching you. Ask if this is within jurisdiction.

Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/January/2009 at 10:04pm
I talked to the guy today.
 
His firm is a national company with offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. I'll post the name if you want, but wasn't sure if Mark wanted that up here or not. He said stuff normally gets sent to the closest office, but sometimes cases end up in other places. I guess mine is one of those.
 
I checked their website and the guy I'm dealing with is a young one. He just finished law school in 2007, so I guess that's why he gets this kind of stuff. I can't see older or more established lawyers taking it on unless there's potential for it to become big.
 
Everything comes back to the old problem of too many cases and not enough OPC investigators. They've hired some more, but they're still being trained and can't take on cases by themselves yet.
 
OPC handed my file and others over to this firm and they're basically doing the OPC's job in keeping up with the paperwork and phone calls to try and get cases resolved. Kinda disappointing to find out they're not preparing for any legal action against Collect Com after all. Boooo.
 
Anyway, he said he'd get after Collect Com again about the apology they were supposed to send me. They claim they did in September, but I haven't got it and OPC didn't get their copy either.
 
Given the pace of things so far, I don't expect results anytime soon, no matter who is involved.
 
Buff 
Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/February/2009 at 12:16am

It came a few days ago. I think it's a complete farce ("pathetically underwhelming" was my first thought upon reading it) and totally insincere, but realistically, it's the best I'm going to get.

Should I post it?
 
Buff
Back to Top
yael View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 18/February/2009
Location: Philippines
Points: 6
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/February/2009 at 8:44pm
Originally posted by Buff Buff wrote:

It came a few days ago. I think it's a complete farce ("pathetically underwhelming" was my first thought upon reading it) and totally insincere, but realistically, it's the best I'm going to get.

Should I post it?
 
Buff


yes we would like to know it. Smile
sucker for loan modification
Back to Top
Syne View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 19/February/2009
Points: 57
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Syne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/February/2009 at 8:02pm
Yes, post it please... in colour so we can see the ink and bathe in the smug satisfaction of it.
Back to Top
Buff View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie


Joined: 15/July/2005
Points: 150
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/February/2009 at 1:45am
The letter was sent to my Montreal mailbox, but I'm not in Canada right now, so I don't have the actual letter with me. The friend who checks my mail was kind enough (between bouts of laughter and eye rolling of his own) to type it out for me.
 
I am in receipt of a complaint that you filed on January 8th, 2007, with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding the business practices of Collect Com Credit Inc. We take complaints of every nature very seriously and I have conducted a very thorough investigation into the concerns you raised with the Privacy Commissioner's office.

Please understand that this allegation was very surprising as we pride ourselves on the measures we take to safeguard documents that pertain to our consumers and their accounts. At the time of the incident, Collect Com Credit had been sent these documents via courrier from our client. This process has since changed by both our client and Collect Com Credit Inc., and had done so prior to your complaint being received in our office.

The result of our internal investigation was that we did not believe your information was sent to the incorrect party. The account that the documentation belonged to showed that no request for such information was made. I am confident that your information was and remains secure.

On behalf of Collect Com Credit Inc., please allow me to apologize for the inconvenience caused. After your concerns were raised and our internal investigation was conducted, we held meetings with our staff regarding the privacy concerns with our customers. We believe that this has been an excellent learning experience for Collect Com Credit Inc. and I hope that you feel confident that your information is safe and secure.

Should you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact me at the telephone number below.

This allegation was very surprising? Riiiight.

An excellent learning experience? Isn't that what criminals say in hopes of getting off or at least getting early parole? Excuse me while I unroll my eyes.
 
You hope I'm confident? Yes, I'm very confident. Confident that my personal information is NOT safe and secure in your hands.
 
And the complaint was filed in September 2006, not January 2007. Idiots.
 
Buff
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.08
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.