Possible privacy breach

In September 2015, the British Columbia Ministry of Education informed us that they were missing an external backup hard disk drive and there was the possibility of a privacy breach. The missing drive contains some personal information of 5,936 Yukon K-12 students, along with the information of 3.4 million B.C. students, processed by the B.C. Ministry of Education from 1986-2009.

The B.C. Ministry of Education processes and stores some Yukon student information as part of our shared education system for curriculum, exams and reporting.

What we have done

At the time of the breach, we:

  • immediately informed the public of all available details about the missing drive; and
  • requested that B.C. provide us with all the Yukon student data contained on the missing drive.

In the spring of 2016, B.C. provided us with the data from the missing drive. In the fall of 2016, we completed an analysis of the impact to Yukoners as result of the possible breach.

The risk analysis found that there was:

  • Low probability and risk of physical threats;
  • Medium probability and risk for humiliation or damage to reputation;
  • Low probability and risk for the loss of employment or business opportunities; and
  • Low probability and medium risk of fraud or identity theft.

The analysis concluded that, if unauthorized users were to access the data on the drive, the overall risk to individuals to face harm from this possible breach is low to medium.

At this point:

  • there is no indication of any unauthorized access to the information on the drive; and
  • no individuals have reported any harm or have had their personal information used as result of this possible breach.

However, the missing drive has not been located and the drive is unencrypted, so there is still a risk of unauthorized access.

We are now attempting to notify all individuals whose privacy and information may be affected.

Description of the data

The types of personal information on the drive include:

  • Personal Education Number (PEN)
  • School
  • Courses taken
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Exam Scores
  • Course grades
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Graduation year
  • Graduation credential
  • Home address
  • Home postal code

The drive does not contain financial or banking information, Social Insurance Numbers or driver’s license numbers.

For more information

Full details of the data on the missing hard drive >>>

Investigation Report from the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner, January 28, 2016  >>>

News release from the British Columbia Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services, September 22, 2015  >>>

Yukon government news release, September 22, 2015  >>>

Contact - Education

Yukon Education
Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon
Canada Y1A 2C6

Phone: 867-667-5141
Toll free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 5141
Fax: 867-393-6339

Search the Yukon government staff directory >>>