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N.L. government doesn't know who might have patient and employee data hit by cyberattack – CBC.ca

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Newfoundland and Labrador Health Minister John Haggie and Justice Minister John Hogan say patient information from the Central Health regional authority has been accessed as part of the cyberattack on the province’s health-care system — but they don’t know whether it’s been stolen, or by who.

The news comes one day after officials said both patients and employees in the Eastern Health and Labrador-Grenfell Health regions had their personal information stolen in the same cyberattack.

The government says it doesn’t know who might have the personal information of potentially hundreds of thousands of patients and employees from all three of the health authorities.

Officials had earlier indicated the information from Eastern Health and Labrador-Grenfell had been stolen, but backed off from that on Wednesday. 

“Based on investigations to date, we currently understand that certain data was accessed. The investigation is also focusing on the impact of that access to determine what, if any, data was taken,” said Hogan.

He said there is no evidence the information has been misused.

The breach in all three health authorities includes basic patient information such as names, birthdays, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, medical care plan numbers, marital status, in-patient and outpatient times and the name of the person’s family doctor.

Officials said the personal information of Eastern Health employees going back 14 years, and Labrador Grenfell-Health employees going back nine years, has been accessed.

Central Health CEO Andrée Robichaud said employee information going back 13 years appears to have been accessed but the health authority can’t yet confirm it.

That information includes names, addresses, contact information and social insurance numbers. Haggie said there is no indication banking information was included in the breach, but the government will be providing credit monitoring services.

“We deeply regret that this incident occurred,” Robichaud said.

Robichaud said Central Health has no evidence to indicate that vendor data has been accessed.

Haggie said Western Health patient and employee data has not been accessed, although he would not say how that was determined.

Officials still cagey, cite security concerns

Officials have not said who is behind the health-care system disruptions, and on Wednesday again refused to confirm the nature of the cyberattack. Sources have told CBC News the breach is a ransomware attack.

Haggie said the province has engaged cybersecurity experts to help in the response to the attack, but has not said who those experts are.

Haggie would not say how the data was accessed, or whether it was encrypted, although officials said Tuesday the data was unencrypted.

“Our advice from world-class experts is to say nothing,” Haggie said.

In an interview Wednesday morning, Information and Privacy Commissioner Michael Harvey said his office was first informed of a possible data breach more than a week ago. Haggie said the government did not share that information until it was confirmed for security reasons, and because it did not want to fuel speculation.

“It’s a balance about transparency and speculation,” he said.

Haggie said the Health Department does not have detailed numbers on how many people have been affected by the breach, beyond noting that there are about 400,000 medical interactions per year in the N.L. health-care system.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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Tentative deal between union workers and beef producer Cargill struck | CTV News – CTV News Calgary

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With less than a week to go before workers were set to go on strike at Cargill’s High River, Alta. beef processing plant, the company says a tentative deal has been reached.

The company announced the development on Wednesday and says it is “encouraged by the outcome” of recent talks.

“After a long day of collaborative discussion, we reached an agreement on an offer that the bargaining committee will recommend to its members. The offer is comprehensive and fair and includes retroactive pay, signing bonuses, a 21 per cent wage increase over the life of the contract and improved health benefits,” Cargill wrote in a statement to CTV News via email.

The company adds it also “remains optimistic” a deal can be finalized before the strike deadline.

“(We) encourage employees to vote on this offer which recognizes the important role they play in Cargill’s work to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. While we navigate this negotiation, we continue to focus on fulfilling food manufacturer, retail and food service customer orders while keeping markets moving for farmers and ranchers,” it wrote.

The United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union (UFCW) Local 401 was expected to go on strike on Dec. 6.

It rejected the most recent attempt at a deal on Nov. 25 by a 98 per cent margin.

‘FAIR OFFER’

According to a statement from UFCW Local 401, the negotiating team engaged in “a marathon day” of talks with the company on Tuesday.

“Late in the evening, our bargaining committee concluded that they were in receipt of a fair offer and that they were prepared to present that offer to their coworkers with a recommendation of acceptance,” it wrote in a statement.

The union says the tentative deal will “significantly improve” the lives of Cargill workers and will be the ‘best food processing contract in Canada.”

Highlights from the deal include:

  • $4,200 in retroactive pay for many employees;
  • $1,000 signing bonus;
  • $1,000 COVID-19 bonus;
  • More than $6,000 total bonuses for workers three weeks before Christmas;
  • $5 wage increase for many employees;
  • Improved health benefits; and
  • Provisions to facilitate a new culture of health, safety, dignity and respect in the workplace

While UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse calls the deal “fair,” he will support workers on the picket line if they decide to reject the proposal.

“If they do accept it, I’ll work with them every day to make Cargill a better workplace,” Hesse said in a statement. “I will do as our members ask me to do.

“I respect all of the emotions that they feel and the suffering that they have experienced.”

Employees are expected the vote on the new deal between Dec. 2 and 4.

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Afterpay delays vote on $29 billion buyout as Square awaits Spain’s nod

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Afterpay Ltd will delay a shareholder meet to approve Square Inc’s $29-billion buyout of the Australian buy now, pay later leader, as the Jack Dorsey-led payment company awaits regulatory nod in Spain.

The investor meet was set for Dec. 6, but Afterpay said it would likely take place next year as Square, which has rebranded itself to Block Inc, is likely to get an approval from the Bank of Spain only in mid-January.

The delay is unlikely to impact the completion of Australia‘s biggest deal, which is set for the first quarter of 2022, Afterpay said.

“We continue to believe the risks of the transaction closing are minimal,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Chami Ratnapala said in a brief client note.

Meanwhile, Twitter Inc co-founder Dorsey is expected to focus on Square after stepping down as chief executive of the social media platform as it looks to expand beyond its payment business and into new technologies like blockchain.

Afterpay shares fell more than 6%, far underperforming the broader Australian market, tracking Square’s 6.6% drop overnight in U.S. market on worries over the Omicron variant.

 

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian, Sameer Manekar and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur)

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Canada Goose under fresh fire in China over no-return policies

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China’s top consumer protection organisation has warned Canada Goose Holdings Inc against “bullying” customers in China with its return policies, just three months after the winterwear brand was fined for false advertising.

The premium down jacket manufacturer has been a hot topic on Chinese social media in recent days over its handling of a case involving a customer who wanted a refund of her purchases amounting to 11,400 yuan ($1,790.17) after finding quality issues.

She said she was told by Canada Goose that all products sold at its retail stores in mainland China were strictly non-refundable, according to her account which went viral online.

State-backed media such as the Global Times newspaper later cited Canada Goose as denying that it had a no-refund policy and that all products sold at its retail stores in mainland China were refundable in line with Chinese laws. The company did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

That has not failed to quell criticism of the brand.

“No brand has any privileges in front of consumers,” the government-backed China Consumer Association (CCA) said in an opinion piece posted on its website on Thursday morning.

“If you don’t do what you say, regard yourself as a big brand, behave arrogantly and in a superior way, adopt discriminatory policies, be condescending and bully customers, you will for sure lose the trust of consumers and be abandoned by the market,” the CCA said.

Representatives of the brand were summoned for talks on Wednesday by the Shanghai Consumer Council to explain its refund policy in China.

The dressing down of Canada Goose comes as tension between China and Western countries has fuelled patriotism and driven some shoppers to turn to home-grown labels.

Canada Goose was also fined 450,000 yuan in September in China for “misleading” consumers in its ads.

($1 = 6.3681 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 

(Reporting by Sophie Yu, Brenda Goh; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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