This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The group of people whose personal information was lost by the federal government are claiming that the actual number of victims are much more than claimed by Ottawa. It was officially announced by the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada last month that it has lost a flash drive from an office in Gatineau, Que., which enclosed personal information of more than half a million recipients of student loan.
The original announcement mentioned that the data breach by the department only affected recipients of loans between 2000 and 2006, but now a group of lawyers is pursuing a $600-million class action suit, some of whom claim that they applied for loans outside that window. Natasha Vaughan, one such victim, alleged that she was relieved to hear the news of data breach because she was not among the announced approximately 583,000 people affected. The 30-year-old loan applicant applied in March of 2007, whereas the federal government’s announcement reported that all clients of the Canadian Student Loan program from 2000 to 2006 but Ms. Vaughan claims that “the guy I spoke to on the phone came back and said, yes, I was affected.”
Ms. Vaughan also received an official letter from the department last week, confirming that she was among the victims who are compelled to pay Equifax to monitor their credit records for the next six years. Another of her friend received a student loan at the same time, and shall technically not be the victim, is checking to confirm whether her information was compromised too.