FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Michael Quinn, chief electoral officer, and Anne E. Bertrand, access to information and privacy commissioner:

After a collaborative review of the circumstances surrounding the privacy breach that occurred in May 2012, the two legislative officers filed statements earlier this week with the speaker of the legislative assembly.

All of the compact discs containing information from the voter registry have been retrieved by Elections NB, with each original recipient signing a declaration that no copies of the information were retained.

Elections NB has introduced additional measures to prevent any similar breach from occurring. Among the preventative measures, the compact discs will be subject to review by a second staff member prior to release, and the discs will be password-protected.

Said Quinn: I wish to reassure New Brunswickers we take very seriously our statutory responsibility in securing the personal information we collect under legal authority, which is essential in delivering on our legislative requirements to maintain an accurate voter registry. We also welcome the co-operation shown by the access to information and privacy commissioner and her staff, who accepted our invitation to provide input on this matter.

Bertrand recognized the timely and appropriate action taken by Elections NB to contain the breach. She also acknowledged that the chief electoral officer is required to maintain at all times a register of electors containing the most current and accurate address information available.

Said Bertrand: Elections NB has the legal authority and is obliged to collect driver's licence information and dates of birth to maintain this accuracy. We understand that the personal information provided by a driver's licence has become the standard across Canada and elsewhere to verify the accuracy of voter information.