Yesterday news of a couple of USB drives containing the personal data on about 2.4 million voters living in the Waterloo region of Southern Ontario were lost, this happened about three months ago, according to general elections oversight group Elections Ontario. Greg Essensa, Elections Ontario’s chief electoral officer, said that “I did not want to make an irresponsible public notification or worry Ontarians needlessly”.
According to Ontario Privacy and Information Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, this loss was unprecedented. Also the breach was “larger than the size of most provinces” and “quite massive in its scale.” Data lost includes full names, birth dates, addresses, gender, voting records also any additional information the voter may have submitted.
This horrible data loss happened at about the same time as the Yahoo breach, that exposed more than 400,000 users and passwords, Android forum Phandroid lost control of nearly a million users’ information and the social network Formspring’s breach, which affected 420,000 users. Essensa says that he “take[s] this matter extremely seriously and I want to sincerely apologize to all Ontarians for any concern that this notification may cause.”