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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
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Computer Hack, Then Violence, Woman Says

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - A computer break-in was followed by a gunfire and arson attack against an employee of the Justice Institute of British Columbia, a woman claims in court.

Annette Oliver sued the government-owned Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, claiming a privacy breach preceded a gunfire attack on her home and arson upon her husband's vehicle.

Oliver claims in British Columbia Supreme Court that an unidentified employee of ICBC unlawfully got access to dozens of customers' personal information. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation tied it to criminal threats against people involved with the Justice Institute, a post-secondary institution for public safety workers, Oliver says in the complaint.

Oliver claims defendant Jane Doe, a former clerk with ICBC, got access to a company database and passed it along to defendant John Doe, who torched her husband's van in April 2011.

Months later, she says, her home was hit by three bullets. She calls both attacks "acts of terrorism and intimidation."

The RCMP announced in May 2012 that it had identified suspects and that the ICBC employee was under investigation for the data breach, according to the complaint.

"ICBC knew or ought to have known the Jane Doe could access the private and confidential information of the plaintiff and pass that information to unauthorized persons," the complaint states. "The plaintiff has suffered personal harm and destruction to her property as a result of these acts of violence."

Oliver claims the company breached contract because it has a monopoly on car insurance in British Columbia.

"A driver or vehicle insurer must contract with ICBC in order to drive or insure a vehicle in B.C. Implicit in the contract is ICBC's assurance that the driver's or vehicle insurer's personal information will be protected from unwarranted intrusion and thus remain confidential," the complaint states.

Oliver seeks punitive damages. She is represented by James Straith of West Vancouver.

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