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.
City demands Rideau Transit fix trains, but won't take work on in-house – CBC.ca
Four months into a 30-year contract with Rideau Transit Maintenance to keep the Confederation Line running smoothly, some city officials say the relationship is already faltering.
One outspoken transit commissioner is even calling for the city to break the $1 billion long-term deal, and bring the maintenance of the trains in-house.
“Because clearly, holding back the money is not enough incentive for them to do their job,” said Sarah Wright-Gilbert, one of the commission’s four appointed citizen members.
Since the Confederation Line launched in mid-September, the city hasn’t paid Rideau Transit a cent. Its monthly payments are supposed to be $4.5 to $5 million, so the group is currently out up to $20 million.
Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) is an arm of Rideau Transit Group (RTG), the partnership between ACS Infrastructure, SNC-Lavalin and Ellis Don that built Ottawa’s $2.1-billion Confederation Line.
RTM is in charge of maintaining the entire LRT system, including the Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicles. RTM actually subcontracts the maintenance of the trains themselves to France-based Alstom, which did not respond to questions Tuesday.
Not yet the ‘last straw’
In the last week alone, one train somehow pulled down 80 metres of overhead electrical cable, and other trains had issues with their wheels, causing them to skid and smoke. Switch issues over the weekend caused hours of delay.
When RTG handed over control of the LRT to the city last August, the system was supposed to come with 17 double-car, fully tested and commissioned trains. It’s now unclear whether all 17 ever worked.
These last few days, so many trains have had issues that, at times, only eight or nine have been available to carry passengers.
Transit chair Coun. Allan Hubley pinned the recent problems on RTM not meeting the city’s expectations for maintaining trains and dealing with winter-related issues.
Hubley and his colleagues will be looking for answers from Rideau Transit CEO Peter Lauch, who is set to appear at an emergency transit commission called for Thursday afternoon.
But unlike Wright-Gilbert, Hubley doesn’t believe the LRT’s issues have become so dire that the city should go through the complicated legal process of breaking from RTM.
“That’s bad news if we have to go that route. To me, that’s the last straw [when] we’re absolutely convinced they don’t have the expertise to do what they’re supposed to do.”
Mayor Jim Watson agreed that it is too early to be talking about the possibility of pulling out of the maintenance contract.
“I think most members of the public want us to deal with getting the damn trains fixed, first and foremost, and then deal with repercussions with the consortium,” said Watson, adding he has had no discussions about possible litigation.
O-Train Line 1: Afternoon peak services normally use 13 trains for a train every 4 minutes. RTM has provided 10 trains. Trains will run approximately every 5 minutes. <a href=”https://t.co/dHTT4UcS2c”>https://t.co/dHTT4UcS2c</a>
City blaming Rideau Transit
In recent days, the city has made a point of emphasizing how it’s RTG that is failing commuters, and not the city.
It appears OC Transpo boss John Manconi is less willing to speak for RTG — at the news conference last Thursday to address the collapsed 80 metres of electrical cable, Manconi stood at the back, behind reporters. At the next day’s news conference, Manconi sat at the table with other officials, but said little.
Instead, it appears that the city is insisting that Rideau Transit’s Lauch, who has rarely spoken to the media over the years of this project, be on hand to answer questions.
While city officials are at pains to focus the blame for the problems on RTM, it is difficult to see what the city can do at this point to improve the system other than holding back maintenance payments — a strategy that doesn’t seem to be fixing the trains any faster.
As Hubley said: “It’s big money. Wouldn’t you love to be making $5 million to do a job? Get to work and do the job.”
Watson is still confident that withholding payments is effective leverage because it hits RTM “in the pocketbook and also hurts their credibility and reputation both nationally and worldwide.
“But my concern and my preoccupation and that of our staff has been to get these problems resolved find the root causes of some of the problems that continue to happen.”
Cathay Pacific Crew Demand Right To Wear Masks Amid Coronavirus Fears – Simple Flying
Cathay Pacific cabin crew members are asking their employer for the right to wear masks in fear of contracting the new fast-spreading Coronavirus. The new virus is quickly spilling out of China, with carriers like Cathay Pacific most exposed.
What are the details?
Cathay Pacific is no stranger to viruses. The airline was right at the center of the SARS crisis many years ago and memories of quarantined infected passengers are still fresh in its collective mind. In fact, back in 2003, some 42 percent of all Cathay inbound and outbound flights had been canceled due to a drop in passenger traffic and the airline was considering grounding the entire fleet.
As such, cabin crew operating the airline know they will be on the front line when it comes to battling this new challenge and they want to be prepared.
So far the airline has allowed its staff to wear face masks on flights operating to and from China, but now the flight attendant union is fighting to have all staff on all flights have the right to wear a mask.
As Cathay Pacific has a large number of network throughput-passengers, it is very likely that if someone was infected with the virus they would head onwards to another destination and could infect others on a non-china flight.
What is the union arguing?
“All of them are worried about the risk they are taking every time they go to work,” the union said in a statement to South China Morning Post. “It is time for the company to properly address their concerns and allow cabin crew to wear masks on all flights.”
The union also stated that having their team members wear masks means that they will be able to protect their passengers.
“Such a measure does not only ease the anxiety of frontline employees but also sends a message to the public that Cathay Pacific is doing everything to ensure the safety of the passengers.”
The union’s statement concluded that it would be ‘too late and too painful’ to let the team members wear masks on all flights only after the first flight attendant gets infected.
Previously during a measles outbreak last year, Cathay Pacific allowed all flight crew to wear masks. So far the airline has only responded cautiously and has not elevated the new virus to the same level.
“As required by the Hong Kong health authorities, we are now distributing health declaration forms and will be making face masks and antiseptic wipes available at the boarding gate to passengers traveling from Wuhan to Hong Kong,” Cathay Pacific said in a statement to SCMP.
“Our frontline staff are reminded to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, and to remain alert and vigilant while being on the lookout for passengers presenting with infectious disease symptoms.”
How dangerous is this new virus?
So far this new virus has killed six and spread from China to Thailand, Japan, and Taiwan. There are around 300 reported cases so far, but some experts believe that China is under-reporting the number and it could easily be in the thousands within the country.
With the Lunar Holiday soon approaching, the number of Chinese passengers will dramatically increase around the world as they travel to, from and throughout China. If the new virus is going to spread, it will be spreading then and the world should be prepared.
For those reading for the first time about this virus and are worried, fear not. Most of those who get the virus will only suffer symptoms associated with the common cold, such as a runny nose, headaches, coughing, sneezing. However, there is a chance that the virus could lead to pneumonia or bronchitis. If you feel like you have flu-like symptoms and you recently traveled internationally, then go see a doctor.
Simple Flying is an aviation blog and not a professional medical service. Any medical statements we published is based on the writer’s common sense at best and is no way an official medical recommendation nor the official advice of Simple Flying. If you are feeling unwell, seek a professional.
What do you think? Should the flight attendants wear a mask? Let us know in the comments.
Lineups outside grocery stores in St. John's as state of emergency hits Day 5 – CTV News
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —
Emptying kitchen cupboards were restocked in St. John’s, N.L., on Tuesday, as residents lined up at grocery stores open for the first time since last week’s massive blizzard.
The lineup at one Sobey’s store stretched around the parking lot and out onto the street by the time doors opened at 10 a.m.
The city had advised people to buy enough food to last 48 hours, but some would-be shoppers still turned away upon seeing the epic queue.
Within 20 minutes, there was little room to move inside the store as people filled their carts with essential foods and household items, leaving some shelves nearly bare.
The openings at Sobey’s and other grocers occurred on the fifth day of a state of emergency in the provincial capital, as cleanup continued from a storm last Friday that brought 76 centimetres of snow to some areas.
The state of emergency was to continue Wednesday, though the city said some restrictions would be lifted.
Grocery stores and pharmacies will be allowed to open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, as well as family doctors and specialist clinics in order to take pressure off hospital emergency rooms.
Oil companies will also be permitted to deliver home heating fuel.
Hundreds of Armed Forces personnel have been brought in to help in the effort, and more were expected to arrive on Tuesday.
Amid the slow return to everyday life, police announced one troubling development: the search for 26-year-old Joshua Wall, who went missing at the height of the blizzard, has been suspended.
RCMP spokeswoman Glenda Power said in an email that despite “exhaustive efforts” over the last four days, Wall — who was last seen leaving his home for a friend’s house at the height of the storm on Friday — has not been found.
“Bay Roberts RCMP continue to urge residents in the area to check their properties, including backyards, sheds, barns and other outbuildings, as well as vehicles, in the event Joshua sought shelter there,” Power said.
At Sobey’s on Tuesday, one St. John’s resident said she and her husband walked down early with a plan to beat the crowd, but arrived to find others had the same idea.
Doris Squires said she was looking forward to a restocked kitchen Tuesday night.
“I’m going to put on a pot of fresh meat soup, if I can get some fresh meat,” she said.
Several taxi companies offered free rides to seniors and people with disabilities who needed to pick up supplies.
Just around the corner from Sobey’s, there was a sense of relief at The Gathering Place, a service centre providing meals, warmth and other basic needs for low-income residents.
Ashley MacDonald, director of social programs, said the state of emergency has been hard on guests who rely on the centre for food and toiletries and couldn’t afford to stock up ahead of the storm.
Many were without power or any means to keep up with updates from the city, MacDonald said, noting some people approached her in the street during the last few days asking where they could find food.
“They’re in the dark about what everybody else knows,” MacDonald said.
About 70 people showed up on Monday to eat and to warm up, MacDonald said, and more than a dozen took home canned supplies for other community members who were housebound.
MacDonald said there was a sense of relief that day as people were finally fed, saw their friends’ faces and swapped stories after an isolating and precarious stretch.
She said planning ahead for warming centres and access to food should be a priority during such weather events in order to better support vulnerable members of the community.
Scott Seabrook, who lives in a bedsit nearby, was at The Gathering Place for a meal Tuesday afternoon. He said he’d been relying on the centre since moving to the city nearly a month ago for a job opportunity that fell through.
Seabrook said staff sent him home with some extra canned food Thursday night, warning they might be shutting down for a couple of days.
“I’ve been living on canned goods since then, and I shared it with some of the people in my room,” he said.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said about 450 troops — including some 175 reservists — would be in Newfoundland on Tuesday to help the province dig out from the storm.
Premier Dwight Ball said Tuesday afternoon that the Armed Forces had completed more than 160 assigned tasks so far, and the call volume of requests for assistance had been “extremely high.”
The city said it would allow the St. John’s International Airport to resume flights Wednesday at 5 a.m., and taxis would have permission to resume operations at midnight.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020.
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