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Canada Revenue Agency gave personal information to a third party without consent

A woman applying for an adjustment had not updated her family name in the Canada Revenue Agency's system. An Agency employee conducted a search in order to find the applicant in the system to follow up on her request for an adjustment. The employee failed to verify whether the address matched the information appearing on the request and on the supporting documents. As a result, the woman's niece received a letter addressed to her containing her own Social Insurance Number, but with information concerning the complainant. The complainant and her husband's niece both have the same family name and first name, although the spelling of the first name is slightly different.

Our Office found that this was the result of a human error because the procedure in place had not been followed to the letter. The complaint was well founded.

Following this incident, the Agency admitted its error and put in place measures to prevent this type of incident from recurring in the future.

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