Southern Alberta donors notified of Canadian Blood Services privacy incident

Canadian Blood Services is notifying donors of a potential privacy issue.
Canadian Blood Services is notifying donors of a potential privacy issue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Albertans are being notified about a privacy issue involving Canadian Blood Services that dates back to over a decade ago.

On April 27, Canadian Blood Services learned it could not locate two boxes of paper records containing personal information for 2,652 people who made donations in southern Alberta between June 14 and 19, 2006, and between Sept. 4 and 8, 2008.

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Canadian Blood services said it believes it’s likely the records are still inside the storage facility and don’t believe they could be used for identity theft.

“We are very sorry that this has happened,” Canadian Blood Services CEO Dr. Graham Sher said. “The privacy of our donors is an essential priority. We are notifying the impacted donors as we speak, and have reported the incident to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta and the Government of Alberta.”

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The organization said it started collecting and storing information about health screening for donations electronically on July 2016. Canadian Blood Services said the change has significantly reduced the risk of the same type of incident happening again.

“Despite the fact that this incident is contained to a limited number of donors in southern Alberta, we feel it is important to acknowledge this incident nationally, given our steadfast commitment to transparency and accountability,” Sher said.

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The organization added the incident isn’t related to its patient care and hasn’t impacted it.

Canadian Blood Services manages the supply of blood, blood products and stem cells across the country, except for Quebec.

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