Government services replaced after data centre fire

All government services have been reinstated after a fire broke out in downtown Calgary last week that damaged computers and telecommunications. The fire at the Shaw Communications’ headquarters caused the outage of a data centre that wires a variety of provincial services. Though it was restored two days later, the motor vehicle registry and land titles data needed more time to repair and test to ensure they were secure and working properly.

Drivers with licenses that expired on or after July 1 were granted an extension, which will stay in place until July 31 to allow time for motorists to renew their licenses. The area’s privacy czar is examining whether sensitive health and personal information of every Albertan was gone or stolen as a result of last week’s fire and outburst at a Calgary data centre.

Commissioner Jill Clayton said that she will examine whether AHS, Service Alberta and ATB Financial Ltd. had adequate safeguards in place to protect the security and integrity stored in three floors of IBM servers at the Shaw Court building.

“We have been for years telling public bodies, health custodians and private sector businesses that part of protecting personal and health information against risks is to make sure you have a backup plan in place in case of a disaster,” Clayton said in an interview.

“This is a really valuable opportunity to have a look at whether plans were in place, whether assessments had been done and how well those worked once there was an incident.”

While systems at Alberta Health Services and ATB are now back running, the land titles and motor vehicle registry systems remain down five days after the incidents


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