VIA updates procedures after passenger finds manifest in recycling bin

A traveller complained after he discovered a VIA Rail passenger manifest in a recycling bin at Toronto’s Union Station. The passenger turned over to a manager the manifest, which identified travellers’ names, reference numbers and other travel information. After hearing nothing back from the rail company, he complained to our Office.

Our investigation showed that the information printed on the document could allow unauthorized access to personal information, such as the addresses and phone numbers of people on the list. Credit card information would not, however, be compromised.

VIA made immediate changes to its procedures for handling passenger manifests and other documents containing the personal information of passengers. For instance, it directed all employees to shred such documents before recycling them.

Manifests now also carry a bilingual banner, reminding staff that the documents are confidential and must be returned to a VIA Rail office for destruction.

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