Community Housing Agency Breached Files Revealed as Part of Manslaughter Trial
Who: Unity Housing
# of Accounts Breached: 6,385 files
What was affected: 6,385 files — including housing agency documents, Bedard’s own cover letter and resumé, and a copy of the movie Gone Girl.
When it happened: 2016
How it happened: Thousands of potentially personal and sensitive files belonging to an Ottawa community housing agency were unwittingly released to Ontario’s police watchdog in 2016 and have been sitting in court as an unsealed exhibit for weeks.
News of the breach was revealed this week during the manslaughter trial of Const. Daniel Montsion, who is charged in the death of Abdirahman Abdi — a tenant of OCISO Non-Profit Housing’s building at 55 Hilda St.
The origin of the breach can be traced to 2016, when property manager Jean-Michel Bedard was tasked with creating a copy of the surveillance video that showed Abdi’s violent arrest at the hands of Montsion and another officer.
Outcome: Since the USB and its files were entered as an exhibit in Montsion’s trial in February, for the past few weeks members of the public could have asked permission to view the thumb drive’s content.
At least two Special Investigations Unit [SIU] investigators also copied the contents to their own laptops, though it’s unclear if they copied the hidden files or even knew about them.
The thumb drive was also disclosed to the office of Montsion’s legal team and the Crown prosecutor’s office.