According to a Toronto hospital network, the personal information about 150 patients have been affected by data breach, due to a third party provider. In fact, patients' medical records were used in a blackmail attempt.
Η Unity Health Toronto, said the incident was due to a former employee Nuance Communications, a company that transcribes clinical notes dictated by doctors at the Hospital St. Michael's.
According to the hospital network, he managed to find her infringement in May, but only informed patients last week.
"We take this issue seriously and have informed all affected patients," Unity Health Toronto said in a statement. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to the approximately 150 patients affected."
The Nuance Communications employee allegedly kept patient records after he left the company, Unity Health said.
In March, this person allegedly tried to use them archives to blackmail Nuance to extort money from her, the health network said.
The records kept by the employee contained patient names, medical history, diagnoses and treatments, according to the network. However, financial or insurance information is not included.
Nuance reported the matter to Indian police, where the alleged incident is believed to have taken place, Unity Health said. Officers were able to locate one computer which is believed to contain patient information, the network said.
A court order was also issued to prevent the former employee from gaining further access or sharing any information from patient reports, the health network said.
Unity Health added that Nuance Communications said it had taken steps to improve information security practices. The Hospital of St. Michael's said he had done his own research and had reported the matter to the Ontario Privacy Commissioner. He also said he was working with Nuance Communications to resolve the issue.