Potential data breach in Saskatchewan’s young worker readiness course application

Unprotected computer usurped by hacker. Photo: Jirsak/Getty Images/Canva

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety (LRWS) has reported a security incident involving unauthorized access to the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC) application.

This educational tool, designed for young individuals entering the job market, is hosted by an external third-party and operates independently of the Government of Saskatchewan’s networks.

The breach potentially exposed personal information of users who accessed the application between July 5, 2021, and December 4, 2023. The compromised data may include the names, cities or towns, email addresses, Indigenous identities (which was an optional field), schools (if applicable), and ages of individuals taking the course. The age groups affected range from 10 to 19 years and older.

Upon discovering the breach, LRWS promptly initiated an investigation, which so far has not found evidence of personal information being compromised. However, the possibility of a data breach remains a concern. In response to this incident, LRWS has been in active communication with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, following the protocols set out in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

As a precautionary measure, the initial security vulnerability in the YWRCC application was immediately addressed and rectified. Additionally, LRWS, in collaboration with the Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement, is exploring further measures to enhance the security of the site.

In Saskatchewan, the YWRCC is a mandatory requirement for 14 or 15-year-olds seeking employment. It is an interactive course that educates young people on workplace health and safety, as well as basic rights and responsibilities in the work environment.

Individuals concerned about their personal information and the breach can reach out to the LRWS privacy officer at 306-787-5196 or via email at [email protected]. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is also available for contact at 1-877-748-2298 (toll-free in Saskatchewan) or by email at [email protected].

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