All 285 local families involved with the Brockville branch of Family and Children’s Services are being notified of a Facebook security breach. The slip was discovered on Monday afternoon. Someone posted on a link on a Smiths Falls Swapshop page that led to a confidential report listing the names of all families involved with children’s aid. A representative from Family and Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville says the lapse was obviously at their end, as the portal was not secure enough. The information should simply not have been accessible. The organization doesn’t know how long the confidential information was available online, or whether it was shared more broadly across the social network.
Publicly identifying families involved with child protection agencies goes against the Ontario Child and Family Services Act and carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and three years in jail. The Facebook page administrator maintains she had no idea that the link contained confidential information.