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City of Hamilton warns of possible privacy breach involving water services

The steel mills on the Hamilton waterfront harbour are shown in Hamilton, Ont., on October 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The City of Hamilton is warning residents of a potential privacy breach involving billing data for water-related services.

Municipal officials say the city has an agreement with the utility company Alectra for services including meter readings, billing, payment, collections and customer care.

As a result, they say the city provides the company with information such as the names of property owners, service and billing addresses and tax assessment roll numbers.

Officials say they have learned some of Alectra’s third-party vendors may have had access to this information without the appropriate approval.

They say there is no confirmation that a breach has occurred, but have requested that the company review the situation and disclose any issues.

City staff have also been asked to alert the province’s information and privacy commissioner.