The federal government's pledge to cover credit flagging for the 583,000 Canadians affected by the loss of a portable hard drive is not enough, according to some of those affected, so they have begun to lobby on Facebook.
How to get protection
If you received a letter from the government saying you're affected, you can provide your consent by calling toll free number at 1-866-885-1866 within North America.
If you are outside of North America call 1-416-572-1113 and dial 0 to speak to your operator in order to reverse the charges.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a teletypewriter (TTY) call 1-800-263-5883.
Some of the Canadians whose personal data was lost are lobbying on Facebook, calling their cause "1 in 60," looking for better credit protection.
The name is the ratio of Canadians affected by the lost hard drive, which disappeared from a Human Resources Canada office in Gatineau, Que., in November. It included the personal information of Canada Student Loans recipients between 2000 and 2006.
During Monday's question period in the House of Commons, Human Resources minister Diane Finley said her department is providing an opt-in system for those whose data was lost.
This protection is being offered by Equifax, said Finley, however opposition MPs pointed out the credit protection company already offers the flag for free in most of the country.
Some residents yet to receive warning letters
Ottawa resident Mark Fillier, whose data was lost, said he has yet to receive a letter from the government informing of of what to do, though others already have.
"I pay my loan every month. They have my address when I miss a payment," said Fillier, adding the situation is causing him additional stress.
"I quit smoking in January. This all came on and … you want to have a smoke."
Fillier is one of the people behind the "1 in 60" social media campaign that's pushing for free credit monitoring and coverage for a longer term than the six years the government has offered.
"The person with that data could sit on it for six years," said Fillier. "What happens in year seven?"
St. John's lawyer Bob Buckingham has also been active on Facebook gathering clients for his class-action lawsuit against the federal government. There are at least three other lawsuits that have also filed statements of claim related to the student loans data loss.