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Privacy breach at MASC

Privacy breach at MASC

The organization sent an email containing client information to 134 producers

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) is notifying affected farmers of a personal data breach.

The incident, which happened on May 26, saw the names and contact information of AgriInsurance customers attached to an email and sent to 134 Manitoba farmers.

The attachment didn’t contain any other sensitive content like social insurance numbers or financial information.

MASC is conducting an internal review of its processes to ensure a similar incident doesn’t occur in the future.

"The first thing we're doing is centralizing all of the communications of that nature to our clients," Jared Munro, president and CEO of MASC, told "The other thing we're doing is looking at privacy more broadly and look at other functions within the organization to make sure we're doing things appropriately there."

The group representing Manitoba producers hasn’t received any complaints from farmers and is being kept up to date on actions underway at MASC.

“We believe that proper steps are being taken by MASC,” Keystone Agricultural Producers told in an emailed statement. “We understand that the data was contact information and not financial information, although we recognize that is a breach of privacy laws.”

Producers who wish to take action because of the breach are legally allowed to do so.

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, farmers can make a complaint to the Manitoba ombudsman.

Producers with questions relating to the privacy breach are encouraged to contact MASC by email.

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