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OCS warns customers of data accessed in Canada Post breach

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Nov 8th, 2018

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) said the shipping information of some of its customers was accessed by an outside source through the Canada Post delivery tracking tool.

In a letter sent to the customers on Wednesday, the OCS said it was notified by Canada Post on Nov. 1 that the data for two per cent of customer orders, or about 4,500 orders, had been accessed by an individual.

The information includes postal codes and the name or initials of the person who signed for the delivery.

The delivery address, payment information and contents of the order were not accessed, the OCS said.

“Since November 1, the OCS has worked closely with Canada Post to identify the cause of this issue and to prevent any further unauthorized access to customer delivery information,” CEO Patrick Ford said in the letter.

Canada Post acknowledged the breach, saying it has been working closely with the OCS to investigate and take immediate action.

“As a result, important fixes have been put in place by both organizations to prevent any further unauthorized access to customer information,” the Crown corporation said.

“We have also shared with OCS that we are confident that the customer who accessed the information only shared it with Canada Post and deleted it without distributing further.”

Ontario privacy commissioner Brian Beamish said the OCS contacted his office about the incident last Thursday.

“We were pleased with the prompt action the OSC took in notifying its customers even though the risk to customer data appears to be minimal,” he said in a statement.

“We are also satisfied that the flaw exploited in the breach was with Canada Post’s system.”

Since Canada Post is subject to federal privacy laws, he said, any further action is a matter for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

A spokeswoman for the federal privacy commissioner said Canada Post has notified the office of the incident and they have been in touch with the Ontario office.

“We … are also engaging with Canada Post to better understand what occurred and what is being done to mitigate the situation,” Tobi Cohen said in an email.

As of Wednesday evening, Canada Post’s delivery tracking tool was not available.


Interested in learning more about marijuana legalization in Canada? Check out CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt’s project The Legal Potcast, as she explores the highs and lows of legalization. Click here to subscribe and listen to past episodes.


 

A screen grab of Canada Post's website on Nov. 7, 2018. HANDOUT/Canada Post

 

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