Breach of RNC officers' information in Sunshine List accidental, says privacy commissioner
167 police officers were affected by the breach
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) has concluded that a privacy breach that led to the salary and employee ID information of some Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers being published online earlier this year was accidental.
The information was published as part of the 2016 Sunshine list, which listed people who made more than $100,000 while working for the N.L. government or one of its boards or agencies.
Government had agreed to a request from the RNC Association to leave the names of 167 police officers off the list for safety reasons, but CBC News discovered their names were included in public spreadsheets released on June 30 anyway.
Privacy Commissioner Donovan Molloy ordered the review be conducted following the breach.
In a report released on Wednesday, he said the disclosure stemmed from human error by "employees working on a novel project, pressed by an inadequate timeline, working with insufficient resources and without a sufficient vetting procedure."
The review also indicates that additional unauthorized disclosures occurred in the list, including the identification numbers and payroll coding of 640 employees, and the inclusion of some forms of compensation that do not fall under the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act.
In the report's conclusion, Molloy said that government officials acted appropriately after they discovered the accidental disclosure, but that measures should be taken to ensure a similar disclosure doesn't happen again.
He recommended that each of the 167 RNC officers affected be contacted to determine whether any of them have concerns for their safety, and what could be done to alleviate those concerns.
A copy of the full report is available here.