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Woman Upset after NL Health Services Privacy Breach


Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services has advised of a privacy breach related to the distribution of an email to 116 fertility patients. The recipients of the email were not blind copied, allowing all who received the email to view the email addresses of other fertility patients.


One woman, Vanessa Mayo, was one of the 116 people impacted by this breach.


Mayo says that she and others were emailed a survey with regards to a subsidy she applied for after applying for a subsidy post in vitro fertilization. She says that based on the way the email was sent, everyone was able to see who took advantage of the subsidy.


At this time the health authority is in the process of contacting those impacted and asking them to delete the email and email addresses. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has also been notified.


President and CEO of NL Health Services says "NL Health Services sincerely regrets this error and I apologize to all of the patients whose privacy was breached through this incident."


Vice President Responsible for Privacy Stephen Greene added, "We will continue to work on ensuring proper protocols are followed with mass communication and reinforce awareness among healthcare workers of their obligation to maintain the privacy of our patients, residents and clients."


Mayo says, "an apology can’t change the fact that we all know who’s applied."


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