Originally posted on National Post | News:

OTTAWA — A federal government department says there is no evidence that missing personal information about thousands of Canadians has been used for fraudulent purposes.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada says an employee reported on Nov. 16 that a USB key containing personal information, including Social Insurance Numbers, of about 5,000 Canadians was missing.

The department, which handles a variety of files including pensions, old age security, employment insurance and childcare tax credits, says all those affected have been contacted.

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A spokesperson said in an email Friday evening that the affected people have been advised of the incident and informed of the steps they can take to help protect their personal information.

HRSDC notified the privacy commissioner’s office on Dec. 21 that the data had been lost.

About 60 people have already called an information line at the privacy commissioner’s office expressing concern about the incident and…

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