UVic Launches Privacy And Information Security Review

Former BC Information and Privacy Commissioner David Flaherty, an internationally recognized expert in privacy issues, will lead the external review examining the security of sensitive personal information at the University of Victoria. The university announced Flaherty’s appointment and released the terms of reference for the review today.

UVic President David Turpin announced last week that he was commissioning the review in the wake of a break-in at the university in which a storage device containing personal information of nearly 12,000 current and former employees was stolen.

“The review will address the events leading up to the privacy breach and the university’s response. It will also examine the university’s plans and measures to protect sensitive personal information and make appropriate recommendations,” says Turpin. “We’re extremely pleased to secure the services of one of the country’s foremost privacy experts to take an in-depth look at what UVic can do to ensure we are meeting the highest standards in protecting sensitive personal information and to prevent that information from being compromised in the future.”

Flaherty’s review is expected to be completed within four months and will result in a report to the president and the university’s board of governors. The report will be made public, although some associated material may remain confidential for reasons of security, personal privacy, or on other grounds under BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

At Flaherty’s recommendation, the university is conducting an internal assessment as part of the process. The internal assessment will operate under Flaherty’s guidance and be led and coordinated by Prof. Jamie Cassels, QC, of UVic’s Faculty of Law, and a former vice-president academic and dean at the university. Cassels will seek and receive input from members of the university community and will be able to call upon individuals who have specific knowledge of existing policies, procedures, and practices related to privacy and security matters.

As part of his report to the president and board, Flaherty will examine the findings and recommendations from the internal assessment and the university administration’s response to them.

The university will share the review findings with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (OIPC) and is cooperating fully with the OIPC’s investigation of the privacy breach at UVic.

For the terms of reference for the external review, click here.

Biographical information on David Flaherty and Jamie Cassels is available in the attached backgrounder.

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Click here for the backgrounder.

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Keywords: security, privacy

People: David Flaherty

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