Government to cover cost of credit protection in privacy breach case a positive step: lawyer

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Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, has announced that for the next six years the government will cover the cost of credit protection for the 583,000 Canadians affected by the recent Student Loan privacy breach.

St. John’s lawyer Bob Buckingham, who has filed a class-action in the case — one of a number being filed across the country — said the announcement is a positive development and something he has been calling for since news of the privacy breach broke on Jan. 11.

“The minister’s initiative, albeit late, is a direct result of class actions filed by my office and others across the country,” Buckingham says. “The aim of these lawsuits is to change government behaviour and this is a start towards protecting the hundreds of thousands of people affected.”

Buckingham said his office is receiving calls from clients who are unsure of this latest move by government, and many who have not yet received official letters about the breach.

“This government decision does not resolve the class actions nor address all the expenses people will incur,” Buckingham said. “This is but a portion of one of the costs we are seeking to recuperate for claimants.”

Organizations: Skills Development Canada

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  • natasha
    January 26, 2013 - 14:53

    Robert Wyndyck Hi Bob. Thanks for providing the full background on the press release you issued yesterday. A number of us are quite disappointed by the position your law firm has taken on the Minister's shameless promotion. As you likely realize (we hope?) they have not in fact provided us with anything. The service they are claiming to 'pay for' is in fact free to all Canadians unless you live in Ontario or Manitoba. And even then it costs 5.65. Their press release makes it sound like they've spent huge $ (and some TV and newspaper programs initially quoted figures exceeding $500M). But in fact this amounts to peanuts. Not to mention that many of us have already paid for this on our own. We are quite disappointed by the response your firm had to their press release. We understand we want to negotiate in good will, and recognize their contribution to helping this problem. However, the wording behind your press release feeds into the optics they were aiming for, which is they have contributed some huge sum to 'help us'. This is utterly false. They are posturing in order to sway the public against this cause and shift the focus of blame to us as 'whiney students' who are demanding too much. Unless you agree with their position, why on earth wouldn't you respond with at least some iota of pointing out how little their 'help' really amounts to?