A day after LifeLabs announced a data breach that potentially impacts up to 15 million Canadians, one of those patients is taking the company to court in a proposed class-action lawsuit.
In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday, Kenneth Morrison argues LifeLabs breached the contract it signs with all customers to keep their private information secure and confidential.
Morrison, a retired Vancouver computer technician who has been a customer since 2014, claims the company “failed to treat privacy and security as its top priorities” and did not take proper care to protect the private information from a breach.
“As a result of the storage breach, the [customers], including the plaintiff, have been exposed to a real and substantial risk of identity theft, cybercrime, phishing, extortion and further disclosure of their highly sensitive medical information,” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit is open to any B.C. resident who was a customer of LifeLabs before Dec. 17, 2019.
Morrison’s lawyer, David Aaron, declined to comment on the case or on whether anyone else has signed on to the lawsuit.
LifeLabs has 21 days to file a response to the lawsuit’s claims, which have not been proven in court.
LifeLabs data breach could impact up to 15m customers
The company, which performs medical lab tests, apologized for the security breach in a statement, adding that it was first discovered several weeks ago.
Compromised information includes health card numbers, names, email addresses, logins, passwords and dates of birth.
While the company is still determining exactly how many people were affected, it said the majority are from Ontario and B.C.
The company said it hired cybersecurity experts to secure the system and determine the scope of the attack, and paid an undisclosed amount of money as ransom to secure the information.
Morrison’s lawsuit claims LifeLabs’ contract with its customers includes a promise that personal information will be destroyed or deleted “as soon as it is reasonable to assume” that the information is no longer needed.
The lawsuit argues LifeLabs failed to keep that promise, and was “reckless in its conduct amounting to the storage breach.”
Cyberattack compromises data of 15 million LifeLabs customers
“At all material times, LifeLabs owed [customers], including the plaintiff, a common law duty of care with respect to the secure storage of the personal information to prevent unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure and copying,” the lawsuit reads.
“Given the sensitivity of the personal information, [LifeLabs] should have had the strongest encryption and security measures in place and should have been diligent with respect to the destruction of personal information where retention was not longer necessary or permitted.”
Morrison is seeking an untold amount in damages for himself and anyone else who signs on to the suit.
The company has set up a phone line specifically to handle related inquiries.
LifeLabs also said Tuesday that customers concerned about the safety of their data will be able to receive “one free year of protection that includes dark web monitoring and identity theft insurance.”
—With files from Maham Abedi
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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FDA says kid-sized Pfizer vaccine doses appear highly effective, safe – CBC.ca
U.S. health regulators said late Friday that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the country weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.
The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of Pfizer’s data ahead of a public meeting next week to debate whether the shots are ready for the nation’s roughly 28 million children ages 5 to 11. The agency will ask a panel of outside vaccine experts to vote on that question.
In their analysis, FDA scientists concluded that in almost every scenario the vaccine’s benefit for preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 would outweigh any serious potential side effects in children. But agency reviewers stopped short of calling for Pfizer’s shot to be authorized.
The agency will put that question to its panel of independent advisers next Tuesday and weigh their advice before making its own decision.
U.S. children could begin vaccinations next month
If the FDA authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make additional recommendations on who should receive them the first week of November. Children could begin vaccinations early next month — with the first youngsters in line fully protected by Christmas.
Full-strength Pfizer shots already are recommended for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem infections from the extra-contagious delta variant and help keep kids in school.
WATCH | Pfizer releases clinical trial data for COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11:
The FDA review affirmed results from Pfizer posted earlier in the day showing the two-dose shot was nearly 91 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infection in young children. Researchers calculated the figure based on 16 COVID-19 cases in youngsters given dummy shots versus three cases among vaccinated children. There were no severe illnesses reported among any of the youngsters, but the vaccinated ones had much milder symptoms than their unvaccinated counterparts.
Most of the study data was collected in the U.S. during August and September, when the delta variant had become the dominant COVID-19 strain.
No new side effects
The FDA review found no new or unexpected side effects, which mostly consisted of sore arms, fever or achiness that teens experience.
However, FDA scientists noted that the study wasn’t large enough to detect extremely rare side effects, including myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that occasionally occurs after the second dose.
The agency used statistical modelling to try to predict how many hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 the vaccine would prevent versus the number of potential heart side effects it might cause. In four scenarios of the pandemic, the vaccine clearly prevented more hospitalizations than would be expected from the heart side effect. Only when virus cases were extremely low would the vaccine cause more hospitalizations than it would prevent. But overall, regulators concluded that the vaccine’s protective benefits “would clearly outweigh” its risks.
While children run a lower risk of severe illness or death than older people, COVID-19 has killed more than 630 Americans 18 and under, according to the CDC. Nearly 6.2 million children have been infected with the coronavirus, more than 1.1 million in the last six weeks as the delta variant surged, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
The Biden administration has purchased enough kid-size doses — in special orange-capped vials to distinguish them from adult vaccine — for the nation’s 5- to 11-year-olds. If the vaccine is cleared, millions of doses will be promptly shipped around the country, along with kid-size needles.
More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers already have signed up to get the shots into little arms.
Edward Rogers’ role as Blue Jays chair unchanged amid changes atop RCI – Sportsnet.ca
TORONTO — Edward Rogers’ roles as chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and control person with Major League Baseball are unaffected by this week’s manoeuvrings that led to his removal as board chair of parent company Rogers Communications Inc., according to two industry sources.
Whether fallout from the power struggle atop the telecom giant, which also owns Sportsnet, might eventually reach the club is unclear. Last week, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said the team was “about a month away” from presenting its off-season plan during a final payroll meeting with ownership, and expressed confidence that its long-term strategic objectives would remain on track.
“Every indication I’ve received and every indication that we’ve been shown … leads me to believe that we will stay on plan and the payroll will continue to rise despite the fact that we’re still lagging behind a little bit in revenues due to (the pandemic),” Shapiro said.
Those comments came before news broke that John MacDonald, a member of the Rogers Board of Directors since 2012, had assumed the chairman role in place of Edward Rogers, who according to media reports had sought to oust company CEO Joe Natale.
Edward Rogers is now seeking to replace five board members.
At this point, the sources said the developments aren’t expected to impact a winter of opportunity for the Blue Jays, who are seeking to augment a club that missed the post-season by one game and are about to see top performers Marcus Semien, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz hit free agency.
Shapiro is close with Edward Rogers, who as chair is the top officer of the club. He is also the control person, a role each of the 30 MLB teams assigns to represent the interests of that ownership.
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