British Columbia

Boxes of insurance papers with personal info found at Metrotown shoe store, owners say

The owners of a shoe store at Burnaby’s Metrotown Mall say they discovered a trove of old insurance documents that contained personal, private information. ICBC says it is investigating.

ICBC says it's investigating documents' discovery

ICBC says it is investigating the documents found by the shoe store owners. (David Horemans/CBC)

The owners of a shoe store at Burnaby's Metrotown Mall say they discovered a trove of old insurance documents that contained personal, private information as they moved into a new location.

Olivia Gharakhanian, whose family owns Devon Shoes, said the three boxes were filled with forms from B.C.'s public auto insurer, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), and other paperwork.

She said the papers included full names and banking information among other details.

"We're moving in, cleaning up and we just open one of the drawers that is not locked and we find all of these documents," Gharakhanian said.

"Everything was clear. I could read first and last names, addresses, everything."

Gharakhanian tweeted out a video of the documents, she said, to draw attention to what she called a serious breach of privacy.

ICBC investigating

ICBC said it was made aware of the issue Thursday and is investigating.

A spokesperson said in an email that the space Devon Shoes is moving into is not a former ICBC office. The insurer, she said, is trying to confirm the previous tenant.

"We take the protection of privacy and information very seriously and will take appropriate action upon identifying the source of the breach," the spokesperson wrote.

ICBC is attempting to retrieve the documents, the spokesperson added. Gharakhanian said representatives from the corporation came to the store asking for them but she didn't provide them.

She said she wanted to draw attention to what she called an "unacceptable," situation but will now turn them over.

With files from Meera Bains


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