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Toronto hospital network says info of about 150 patients allegedly stolen

TORONTO — A Toronto hospital network says about 150 patients have been affected by a data breach in which their medical records were allegedly used in an extortion attempt involving a third-party provider.

Unity Health Toronto says a former employee with Nuance Communications, who provided transcription services for doctors, allegedly held on to records belonging to patients from St. Michael’s Hospital after leaving the company.

It alleges that in March, the person then used the records in an attempt to get Nuance to pay money to him.

The health network says the records contained patient names, medical history, diagnoses and treatments.

It says Nuance reported the incident to police and officers seized a computer believed to contain the patient information.

St. Michael’s Hospital says it is conducting its own investigation and has also reported the matter to Ontario’s privacy commissioner.

Nuance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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