Healthcare Privacy

Privacy Breach at Algoma Public Health


Algoma Public Health

Some residents of Sault Ste. Marie have been notified by Algoma Public Health that their personal information had been breached.

In a copy of the letter obtained by Saultonline staff, APH admits to having a staff member inadvertently send a compromising e-mail “to another health care service provider.”

The incident occurred June 10, 2020 and a manager was immediately notified of the error according to the letter. An attempt to recall the e-mail failed, but contact with the recipient was made.

They assured APH the e-mail was removed from their inbox and never opened. The e-mail in question contained first and last names, health card numbers, addresses, date of COVID testing and COVID test results.

“Once APH became aware of the breach, APH’s Privacy Commissioner was notified and the breach reported to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC),” stated the letter. “In March 2021 the IPC advised the APH that the affected residents should be notified. This letter serves as your notification of the breach.”

Saultonline has contacted APH for comment on the breach and at time of publishing we have yet to receive comment.

This is the second breach in just over a year for a Northern Ontario Health Unit.

Last May, the The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit went public admitting to a breach of privacy when positive COVID-19 results found there way onto the internet.

“A member of the public reported the breach to the health unit,” the organization said in a news release at the time. “The likelihood of someone else having accessed the information is quite low because it was not immediately visible and accessing it required a number of steps that were not obvious.”

SaultOnline will bring you more information on this situation as it becomes available. A picture of the letter can be seen below.

A copy of the letter provided to Saultonline



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