IRSAS investigates possible security breach

April 7, 2014

Respecting the confidentiality of information in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is one of the most important aspects of our work at the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS). We take this responsibility very seriously.

The need to protect the privacy of all matters related to claims under the IAP is constantly reinforced with all of our staff and with the adjudicators who work with IRSAS. We have stringent procedures in place to ensure that personal information is protected.

Recently, there have been several media reports about a possible breach of security related to the IAP.

We are investigating an incident involving an individual who in 2012 initially said he may have had personal information about claims in the IAP and then recanted his allegations. The individual has recently attempted to blackmail an IAP adjudicator. We are still looking into the matter, and are not in a position yet to confirm whether any information was stolen. The individual has most recently indicated that he does not in fact have any IAP information.

IRSAS has reported the incident to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. We have also been in touch with the police about the possible theft of information from the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat, however we have no evidence at this time that anything has been stolen.

We are working closely with the Privacy Commissioner on this matter. As we gather more information about the possible breach and determine whether any personal data was compromised, we will decide on an appropriate course of action in close consultation with the Privacy Commissioner.

We sincerely regret any anxiety or concerns this matter may cause to claimants in the IAP. Counselling and support services are available to all IAP claimants by calling 1-866-925-4419.

If you have any questions about this incident, please call the toll-free IAP Information Line at 1-877-635-2648.

- April 8, 2014

Dan Shapiro
Chief Adjudicator