November 19, 2021
Labrador-Grenfell Health is advising its current and former employees, physicians and locums of a breach of personal information. While the incident is currently under investigation, we are advising that personal information was breached in relation to a cyber attack that occurred in October 2021.
This breach includes information such as name, address, contact information, and social insurance number of employees of Labrador-Grenfell Health over approximately the last nine years. At this time, there is no indication that this information is being misused or disclosed and no evidence that banking information was involved.
Labrador-Grenfell Health takes confidentiality and privacy very seriously and sincerely regrets this incident and any concern or inconvenience it may cause. We are taking steps to protect the confidentiality and privacy of our employees and clients. As part of that process, Labrador-Grenfell Health has entered a contract with Equifax for credit monitoring and identity theft services. Affected individuals who have worked for Labrador-Grenfell Health over the last nine years will be offered access to credit monitoring and identity theft services through Equifax for a period of five years from the date of enrollment, at no cost to them. This service is available to all current employees and affected former employees, over the age of 18 who have a Canadian credit file. For those living outside of Canada, coverage will depend on the availability of the service in their region. This service allows individuals to monitor their credit and identity information, as well as detect and respond to fraudulent credit activity.
Each employee who enrolls in the service will receive the following benefits for a period of 5 years from the date of enrollment:
- Lost Wallet Assist: One-stop assistance in cancelling and reissuing your credit or debit cards, driver’s license, SIN card, insurance cards, passport, and traveler’s checks when your wallet is lost or stolen;
- WebDetect™ (Internet Scanning): Receive alerts when Equifax detects your personal information (e.g., SIN or credit card number) is being used on the Internet;
- Daily credit monitoring with email notifications of key changes to your credit profile;
- Unlimited access to your Equifax Credit Score™ and report;
- Identity Restoration: A dedicated Identity Restoration Specialist will work on your behalf to restore your identity should you become a victim of identity theft;
- Up to $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance (further terms, conditions, and exclusions relating to coverage will be available in your policy upon enrollment);
- Ability to view how your score trends over time.
Your unique activation code, the Equifax web address, and instructions for enrolling are included in this package. We highly recommend that you avail yourself of this service, as this is an important step in the protection of your information.
We would also encourage you to remain vigilant regarding your financial information. If you notice any unusual activity in any of your accounts or your account statements, please contact your service providers as soon as possible. Service Canada’s website also offers advice on how to protect yourself against identity theft, which can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/rc284/protect-yourself-against-identity-theft.html
Mental Health supports for former and current employees are available and include the Bridge the Gapp website, which can be accessed through the following link www.bridgethegapp.ca. Other services include the CHANNAL Warm Line [1-855-753-2560] and the Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line [1-888-737-4668]. In-person services may also be accessed through Doorways Mental Health Clinics. Current employees and their families can learn more about the supports available to them by contacting the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) with Labrador-Grenfell Health.
Labrador-Grenfell Health provides Employee and Family Assistance services through Homewood Health and has engaged them in relation to this incident. The contact number for this service is 1-800-663-1142, and it is available 24-hours a day. Employees and their families can also access this service through Homewood Health’s online intake form, which can be found here: https://homewoodhealth.com/corporate/contact-eap-efap
Immediate actions were taken to reduce the risk of further incidents and these efforts will continue. Labrador-Grenfell Health notification protocols through the Newfoundland and Labrador Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) are underway. The RCMP and other external resources are currently involved, provincially, to fully investigate the incident. We appreciate your patience and understanding as the investigation continues.
If you are not satisfied with Labrador-Grenfell Health’s response to this privacy breach, you have the right to contact the OIPC NL. OIPC NL wishes to advise, however, that the Commissioner has already decided to launch a privacy investigation regarding this incident. Unless you believe there are very specific circumstances particular to your own case that would warrant an individual complaint, it is not necessary to file a complaint. If you have any questions or aren’t sure if you should file an individual complaint, feel free to contact the OIPC NL to discuss further. The OIPC may be contacted through the following address:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
2 Canada Drive
P.O. Box 13004, Station “A”
St. John’s NL, A1B 3V8
Once again, we deeply regret that this has happened and would like to apologize for this incident and provide assurance of our continued commitment to the protection of your privacy.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the provincial call centre that was recently established for this purpose at 1-833-718-3021.