Data of thousands of immigrants under risk as Canada discovers privacy breach – Economic Times


Just as the Canadian government was preparing to extend the status of thousands of expired and soon-to-expire Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders and Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) applicants, reports have surfaced of a possible data breach.

Canada announced that it would extend post graduate work permits for some international graduates.

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International students, whose permits expired or will expire between September 20th, 2021 and December 31, 2022 would be able to avail the new extension. These students would be eligible to receive an additional open work permit of 18 months.

Applicants were told to wait for an email with further instructions. A day later, reports surfaced of the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) having sent emails containing names, application numbers, and unique client identifiers to the wrong addresses.

“As is the case for privacy breaches, an investigation into this incident is currently underway,” IRCC told CICNews via email. “We are taking precautions and have appropriate measures in place to ensure security of information. Once all affected clients have been identified, clients will be sent an email with the correct information.”


IRCC said it became aware of the breach on August 3.

“A separate email will be sent to affected clients informing them of the privacy breach. We are advising clients NOT to share the incorrect email with others and to delete the email from their inbox. Once the issue has been resolved, a notice of correction will go out to those affected, and the correct email message will be distributed,” the IRCC has said.

The status extension is just one of the many steps Canada has taken in recent months to ease the burden of immigrants affected by closures forced by the pandemic.

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