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Data breach of 23,000 Revenu Québec employees leads to 2 arrests

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Two people have been arrested in connection with a massive leak of personal information at Quebec’s revenue agency.

The Sûreté du Québec say officers arrested a 39-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man from Quebec City on Wednesday morning. They are expected to meet with investigators.

The breach affects 23,000 current and former employees, according to police. An investigation was launched on July 25 after the leak was discovered by Revenu Québec.

Revenu Québec said in a statement issued on Wednesday that an internal investigation showed a staff member transferred the personal information outside the agency. The organization says it doesn’t appear the data was used for malicious purposes.

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“However, because of the breach of confidentiality with respect to personal data of employees, Revenu Québec immediately filed a complaint with the Sûreté du Québec,” the agency said.

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The data stolen includes names, social insurance numbers and, in a small number of cases, birthdates and salaries.

“Citizens have nothing to fear, no fiscal information — whether it’s our employees’ or that of citizens — was compromised,” said Revenu Québec spokesperson Geneviève Laurier.

The employee at the centre of the leak was relieved of their duties, according to Revenu Québec.

The agency says those affected by the leak will be contacted in the coming days.

“We are compiling a list of affected employees and former employees to contact them quickly and accompany them thereafter and, in light of the findings of the investigation, we will take the appropriate measures,” said Laurier.

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— With files from the Canadian Press