Originally posted on National Post | News:

OTTAWA — A federal agency has lost a portable hard drive containing personal information about more than half a million people who took out student loans.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada said Friday the device contained data on 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program borrowers from 2000 to 2006.

The missing files include student names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, contact information and loan balances of borrowers, as well as the personal contact information of 250 department employees.

Borrowers from Quebec, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories during this time period are not affected.

No banking or medical information was on the portable device.

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Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said she has called on the RCMP to assist with the incident, “given its serious nature.”

“I want all Canadians to know that I have expressed my disappointment to departmental officials at this unacceptable and avoidable incident in handling…

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