Desjardins says employee who stole personal data also accessed credit card info

Desjardins says employee who stole personal data also accessed credit card info
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MONTREAL — The Desjardins Group says the employee who stole the personal data of 4.2 million members of the financial co-operative also gained access to information for 1.8 million credit card holders.

In a conference call on Tuesday, however, the financial co-operative’s chief executive officer insisted that personal information of the card holders was not passed on to third parties.

“I want to be clear: nothing tells us that this data has been stolen,” said Guy Cormier. “It is only preventive that Desjardins wants to warn people.”

He was accompanied by Real Bellemare, the new executive vice president and chief operating officer who is temporarily in charge of information technology.

The update comes a week after the departure of two senior Desjardins executives — former chief operating officer Denis Berthiaume and Chadi Habib, senior vice president of information technology.

It says all of its credit card, insurance and wealth management customers will receive the same protections already offered to Desjardins members.

In total, about eight million people will have access to the suite of initiatives, such as access to Equifax’s credit monitoring service.

Desjardins will therefore add between $10 million and $15 million to the $70 million provision from earlier this year to cover the costs related to the leakage of personal data.

“Whether it’s $5 million, $10 million or $15 million more, between you and me, it’s not significant and Desjardins is able to absorb these sums,” said Bellemare, noting that the co-operative earned about $2.3 billion in profits last year.

The incident has been investigated by the Quebec Provincial Police. Desjardins is also being investigated by Quebec’s access to information commission and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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