HKPR dealing with privacy breach involving 500 area residents

By Mike Baker

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit [HKPRDHU] is looking into a privacy breach that saw approximately 500 individuals receive a fraudulent email relating to COVID-19 vaccine appointments last week.

In a release to media on Friday, July 23, the health unit says the email was sent to addresses people had provided when booking initial COVID-19 vaccine appointments several weeks ago.

The issue became apparent when individuals noticed the email was a part of a chain, where they could see the addresses of all of the recipients.

“We take this issue very seriously and sincerely apologize for this incident,” said Dr. Natalie Bocking, HKPR medical officer of health. “We are reaching out to affected individuals and also working internally to ensure there is no repeat of this situation.”

It is not yet clear what the intent of the breach, or the subsequent email is.

The incident has been reported to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. HKPR is asking anyone who received these emails to delete them immediately, and not to forward them to any other person or party so as to not compound the breach.

Anyone who needs to contact HKPR can do so by emailing, or by calling 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020.