Private information of Erin residents breached on water bills

No banking information was disclosed by 'technical software issue,' town officials say

ERIN – The private information of 1,100 municipal water users in the Town of Erin has been breached.

Senior communications officer Lavina Dixit told the Advertiser property owners will see their own information at the top of their bill, but also someone else’s name, address and amount due at the bottom.

“It was not a hack,” Dixit said in an interview late in the afternoon on Oct. 22.

“It was a problem with the software. The bills were sent out today and that’s when we discovered it.”

Dixit explained town staff prepares the bills and sends them to a vendor, who prints and distributes them. She said a software glitch caused an overlap in the printing of the bills.

She noted not all 12,000 Town of Erin residents are on municipal water, but the 1,100 properties impacted include all of the town’s water customers.

Town officials stressed in a press release that no banking information has been breached or disclosed.

“The breach was as a result of a technical software issue that resulted in the printing of additional information on single utility bills,” states the release.

“Immediate steps are being taken to ensure that the problem is rectified and does not occur again in the future.”

Affected residents will receive notification with details of what happened by mail.

The Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has also been notified, the release states.

“We apologize for this incident and would like to assure our residents that the town is fully committed to ensuring that we maintain the confidential information of all our residents in the most secure and safe manner,” town clerk Lisa Campion stated in the release.