Two arrested in Revenue Quebec data theft involving 23,000 current and former employees

MONTREAL — Two people were arrested following a data breach involving 23,000 current, former and contractual employees at Revenue Quebec, the province's tax agency, police said Wednesday.

Quebec provincial police said two people from Quebec City — a 39-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man — were arrested and were meeting with investigators. Police were also serving a search warrant at a residence in the provincial capital.

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Authorities said they were alerted on July 25 by Revenue Quebec that a staff member was at the origin of the confidentiality breach. The employee was fired.

Revenue Quebec informed employees of the breach Wednesday and said the data stolen includes names, social insurance numbers and, in a small number of cases, birthdates and salaries.

The agency said the banking and tax information of those affected wasn't part of the leak.

Revenue Quebec employs about 12,000 people. Former employees and subcontractors affected will be contacted by letter in the coming days.

Spokeswoman Genevieve Laurier said the leak was limited to information about employees.

"Citizens have nothing to fear, no fiscal information — whether it's our employees' or that of citizens — was compromised," Laurier said.

Authorities released very few details on Wednesday. The employee who was arrested had access to the agency's human resources administrative databases as part of their job.

Laurier said once the investigation is complete, appropriate measures will be taken.

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