06/24/2013 07:48 EDT | Updated 08/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Kamloops LifeLabs Patient Information Breach Affects 16,000


KAMLOOPS, B.C. - The personal information of about 16,000 patients of a medical-lab service in Kamloops, B.C., has gone missing, says the company's president.

LifeLabs president Sue Paish said Monday a computer was sent to their main office in Burnaby for servicing in January, but when it was returned, the hard drive was missing.

The hard drive held the results of ECGs, or electrocardiograms, gathered at three local facilities between 2007 and 2013.

"There was no financial information whatsoever included in the data, no ability to access any financial records or other financial-related data," said Paish who also apologized for the incident.

She said an internal investigation failed to determine who took the drive and where it is now, adding the information is password protected and requires special equipment to read.

The company has implemented measures to minimize the risk of such incidents in the future, including ensuring that all ECG reports and drives are fully encrypted, said Paish.

Health Minister Terry Lake said he learned of the breach just last week.

"It's unacceptable to take this amount of time to notify the government and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner about a breach like this," he said. "And again they have assured us that will not happen in the future." (CFJC)

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