Canada Post admits cannabis privacy breach involving 4500 Ontario customers

Desiree Burns
November 7, 2018

The Ontario Cannabis Store says that there has been a data breach involving the shipping information for about 4,500 orders.

"Upon learning of this incident, the OCS immediately engaged the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario", the OCS said in a statement.

The information obtained was the buyer's name or initials, postal code, date of cannabis delivery, the Canada Post tracking number and OCS' corporate name and address.

The delivery address, payment information and contents of the order were not accessed, the OCS said.

In a privacy update on its website, the OCS said the breach late on November 1 affected about two per cent of its customer orders, and information was accessed by a person using a Canada Post delivery tracking tool.

Canada Post says both organizations have been working closely since then to prevent further unauthorized access.

Emails went out Wednesday to customers impacted by the breach, a source said.

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Ford said OCS expects Canada Post to re-engineer their systems to protect customers.

While marijuana ordered through the Ontario Cannabis Store is legal, privacy concerns are especially acute given the hard line taken by American authorities, who have made it clear that Canadians who admit to using pot could be refused entry to the USA or deemed inadmissible for life. "I would prefer you not use my name only because I might like to continue to be admissible to U.S.A".

Canada Post did not say what information was compromised.

According to the OCS, the data breach affected about two per cent of the orders that have been made on the site since it launched last month.

Further, the crown corporation states that it has "encouraged" Canada Post to take immediate action to notify affected customers.

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