CIBC bans faxes; privacy commissioner investigates; more leaks

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has taken the remarkable step of banning the use of fax machines for any transmission of customer information in the wake of revelations that confidential data for hundreds of its customers had been faxed to a scrap yard operator in West Virginia.
The Toronto-based bank issued the ban in the early afternoon — shortly after the scrap yard operator, Wade Peer, received two more faxes from CIBC branches, each of which contained confidential customer information.
Peer said one fax arrived at his office at about 11:15 a.m. ET Friday from a CIBC branch in Edmonton. The other arrived about an hour later from a CIBC branch in Ottawa. Both faxes contain names, social insurance numbers, phone numbers, and bank account details for CIBC customers in those cities.
Peer said he has received hundreds of similar documents since July 2001, despite alerting bank officials immediately about the problem and at several intervals since then.
Also Friday, Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart launched an investigation to determine if the CIBC violated Canadian privacy laws.
“This is virtually unprecedented in terms of scale in the private sector anyway,” Stoddart told CTV in a telephone interview from Ottawa … [Read the full story and watch the video report]

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