BC Liberals want answers on LifeLabs data breach

Breach answers demanded

In the wake of a data breach impacting millions of British Columbians, Okanagan BC Liberal MLAs Ben Stewart and Norm Letnick are calling on the NDP to provide answers on when they knew and what the government has done since finding out about the LifeLabs breach.

LifeLabs is Canada’s largest private diagnostic testing provider, handling 34 per cent of all diagnostic tests for the province’s healthcare system. According to the BC Liberals, Health Minister Adrian Dix admitted that LifeLabs contacted his government about the breach as early as Oct. 28.

The breach includes people's names, addresses, email addresses, customer logins, passwords, and health numbers.

LifeLabs fell victim to a cyberattack, exposing the personal information of nearly 15 million Canadians, including almost four million British Columbians.

“This is one of British Columbia’s largest data breaches in recent history, and it is raising serious questions about how private companies and this government handle our personal information,” said Letnick, the Liberal health critic. “We have learned that the government was aware of this attack over six weeks ago and withheld it from the public. British Columbians deserve to know what advice was John Horgan given and what actions he has taken since he found out.”

Castanet has reached out to Valley Medical, which uses the services of LifeLabs, for more information on the data breach here in the valley.

"We can't stress enough the importance of the B.C. government's responsibility to protect British Columbians' privacy,” said Stewart, BC Liberal co-critic for Citizens’ Services. “A wide array of British Columbians’ personal information, including health records, is now digital, and cyberattacks are becoming more frequent than ever. How can we be sure that private and public institutions are doing enough to protect our personal information?”

The BC Liberal MLAs are demanding that John Horgan and the NDP outline what measures they will take to ensure the government is not vulnerable to future data breaches and extortion attempts.

"The NDP government must act now and give British Columbians the answers and confidence they deserve," said Letnick.     

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