July 5, 2019 12:58 pm
Updated: July 5, 2019 1:05 pm

Amid backlash, Desjardins unveils new measures to help members who were victims of data theft

Desjardins President and CEO Guy Cormier says the Equifax service has improved in the last 24 hours with shorter delays and a simplified identification process.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
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Desjardins Group announced additional measures Friday to help its members who were victims of data theft and are having difficulty accessing Equifax’s protection service.

Guy Cormier, Desjardins Group’s president and chief executive, says the Equifax service has improved in the last 24 hours with shorter delays and a simplified identification process.

The company announced last month that a former employee shared the personal information of more than 2.9 million members with third parties outside of the organization.

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READ MORE: Desjardins data breach affecting 2.9 million members leads to class-action lawsuit

Members whose data was stolen received a personalized letter from Desjardins, including a code, that allows them to activate the Equifax monitoring plan.

But many Desjardins customers complained that they could not access the company’s overwhelmed and often inaccessible website to register and protect their file. Others failed to obtain service in French.

Starting Monday, members will be able to call 1-800-CAISSES to activate their credit monitoring plan if they’re having problems signing up online or over the phone with Equifax. By mid-week, members will also have the option of signing up through the Desjardins AccesD online system or on the mobile app.

READ MORE: Desjardins says personal info of 2.9 million members shared illegally by employee

Desjardins reiterated that the assets and transactions of all its members are protected and fraudulent activity on their accounts will be reimbursed.

Desjardins has some seven million members. The security gap concerns 41 per cent of its clientele, or 2.7 million individuals and 173,000 businesses who use Desjardins banking services in Quebec and Ontario. Clients who only have Desjardins insurance products are not affected.

Names, birth dates, social insurance numbers, addresses, phone numbers, e-mails as well as information about transaction habits and purchases were illegally transmitted to third parties. However, passwords, members’ personal identification numbers and their security questions have not been compromised, assures Desjardins.

WATCH BELOW: Canada struggling for experts in war against hackers

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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