Ottawa, ON—Canada’s telecom regulator will pay $5.2 million to resolve claims that its Verisign security system was used to steal personal information from the personal computers of Canadians, the Competition Bureau announced Thursday.
Verisign Security Services Inc., a subsidiary of Cisco Systems Inc., was charged by the Competition Board with a total of $25.1 million over a five-year period for the fraud that resulted in the loss of personal data from approximately 50,000 Canadians, including details about their social security numbers, bank account numbers and other personal data.
Verizign, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The money was intended to help cover the costs of defending the complaints.
It is the largest settlement in Canadian telecom history.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Division filed a complaint in September 2015 against Verisagens subsidiary, Verizon Security Services, alleging it used the software to intercept and access personal information about Canadians without their knowledge.
Verizon denied the allegations, and said it is confident in its security.
VeriSign has been involved in similar cases in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.
In an e-mailed statement, Verisagen said it has always been and continues to be fully committed to its customers’ security.
“Verisagen is committed to protecting their privacy and security,” the statement said.
“We will continue to aggressively pursue our customers’ claims and hold accountable those who violate our privacy and trust commitments.”
The company also noted that it is committed “to complying with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.”