Desjardins President and CEO Guy Cormier listens to a question during a news conference in Montreal onJune 20, 2019.The chief executive of Desjardins Group says it will offer permanent data protection to all its members — and not just those affected by a massive personal data breach reported last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Desjardins announces permanent digital protection to all members following breach

On June 20 they announced that 2.7 million members and 137,000 business clients had info allegedly stolen

The chief executive of Desjardins Group says it will offer permanent data protection to all its members — and not just those affected by a massive personal data breach reported last month.

On June 20, the financial co-operative announced that 2.7 million members and 137,000 business clients had their information allegedly stolen by an employee who has since been fired.

Desjardins announced a number of measures today and said it will offer any clients who been victims of identity theft access to lawyers and experts and reimburse them for certain expenses incurred as a result of such a theft.

Members whose data had been stolen were to receive a personalized letter from Desjardins, including a code to activate an Equifax monitoring plan.

Desjardins chief executive Guy Cormier updated reporters on the new measures today and said that 13 per cent of its members — more than 360,000 people — have signed up with Equifax.

The breach will be front and centre in Ottawa later today, when the Commons committee on public safety and national security will hold a hearing.

In addition, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and Quebec’s access to information commission are also investigating.

There could be legal consequences for the co-operative as it faces two applications to launch class action lawsuits claiming Desjardins violated members’ privacy rights and was negligent in protecting their data.

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