Desjardins’ president and chief executive Guy Cormier told the government’s public safety committee that lawmakers need to work with businesses and Canadians to find a better way to protect personal information.
In a July 15th Globe and Mail article, the executive said during an emergency session of the committee that the current way of preventing leaks is not adequate enough. He said that laws should be changed to ensure better public protection.
“I think the status quo isn’t an option,” he told the Globe and Mail. He added that this emergency meeting was “premature” and said that the police are still investigating.
“We believe that people – elected officials – are becoming more aware of this matter and we wanted to contribute our perspective,” he said.
The committee met yesterday from 1pm to 6pm for an ‘in-camera’ session, meaning it was not open to the public or the media.
Last month, Desjardins confirmed that an employee leaked the personal data of more than 2.9 million of its members to people outside the organization.
The information that was leaked included names, addresses, social insurance numbers, birth dates, email addresses and information about users’ transaction habits.
Desjardins said it fired the employee, and the company is currently facing two class-action lawsuits.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada and his Quebec counterpart have launched an investigation into the breach.
Desjardins is also now offering clients free identity theft insurance and other financial and legal aid for those who have been affected by the breach.
The chair of the public safety committee, Liberal Member of Parliament John McKay, told the Globe and Mail he wished the executive was asked more “tough-minded” questions. He said that the committee doesn’t know more than what has already been reported.
Cormier noted that Desjardins intends to offer permanent data protection to all members and has also committed $50,000 for clients affected by identity theft.
Source: The Globe and Mail