http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/front/RTGAM/20030204/wdriv24a2a/Front/homeBN/breakingnews By PAUL WALDIE Wednesday's Globe and Mail Tuesday, February 4, 2003 Online Edition, Regina police have recovered a computer hard-disk drive that had been missing from ISM Canada Inc. and contains confidential information for more than one million people. The disk contained a variety of data including account information for customers of Saskatchewan Power Corp., Saskatchewan Telecommunications, the provincial workers' compensation plan, a unit of Co-operators Group Ltd. of Guelph, Ont., Winnipeg-based Investors Group Inc. and thousands of Manitoba businesses. "Late [Monday] our people recovered the hard drive," said Sergeant Rick Bourassa of the Regina police department. "Charges are pending against a single individual." Sgt. Bourassa would not say where the disk was recovered or who will be charged. He added that investigators are examining the disk to see if any of the information on it was used. "There is nothing to indicate at all through the whole course of the investigation that the information was targeted or that it was used at all," he said. "However, we have people looking at it to confirm that." Anne Mowat, a spokeswoman for ISM, declined to comment on the recovery of the disk other than to say the company is co-operating with the police. She also declined to say whether an ISM employee is the target of police. The disk, about the size of a videocassette, went missing on Jan. 16 from ISM's Regina office. ISM, a subsidiary of Markham, Ont.-based IBM Canada Ltd., is one of the largest providers of information system services in Canada and its clients include dozens of government agencies and private businesses. On Monday, Investors began sending letters to its one million clients to ease their concerns about the missing information (clients of Mackenzie Financial, a unit of Investors Group, are not affected). "We're very encouraged that Regina police have the hard drive in their possession," said Ron Arnst, a spokesman for Investors Group. "Obviously we are watching what's going on, and we are going to wait to learn more before making any more detailed comment." Also on Monday, the Manitoba government revealed that some tax information for 43,000 businesses was on the disk. "This is extremely good news for our clients," said Brian Forbes, director of the administration section for the Manitoba government taxation division. "We understand that there is a forensic investigation going on and we are optimistic with good results from that, that the information is secure. I will certainly sleep a little easier when I know the information wasn't used." A Regina law firm has launched a class-action lawsuit against ISM and several of its clients, including Co-operators and Investors Group, on behalf of people whose information was on the disk. The suit alleges the companies failed to properly protect the information and did not promptly inform those affected. ISM did not announce that the disk had gone missing until last week. ISM, Co-operators and Investors Group have declined to comment on the suit. Investors Group said it was not told about the extent of its client information on the disk until Jan. 29. Investors Group and the Saskatchewan government have said they will no longer use ISM until the company can provide assurances about the security of its data. Co-operators has also said it is reviewing its relationship with ISM. Furthermore, the Saskatchewan government is considering suing ISM. Experts say the lost disk is the largest privacy mishap in Canada. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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