On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Bad News – Not So Bad News

The US isn’t the only one losing peoples data, as reported by the BBC: UK’s families put on fraud alert

Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing.

The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25m people.

The chancellor [Alistair Darling] blamed mistakes by junior officials at HMRC [Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs], who he said had ignored security procedures when they sent information to the National Audit Office (NAO) for auditing.

Mr Darling told MPs: “Two password protected discs containing a full copy of HMRC’s entire data in relation to the payment of child benefit was sent to the NAO, by HMRC’s internal post system operated by the courier TNT.

The package was not recorded or registered. It appears the data has failed to reach the addressee in the NAO.”

It is the latest and by far the most serious of a string of missing data incidents at HM Revenue and Customs.

HMRC chairman Paul Gray resigned earlier after the latest incident came to light.

The “not so bad news” is that the disks were password protected and they were sent by courier which reduces the chances of the widespread search being necessary if they had been sent by the regular mail. There is also the point that Mr. Gray felt responsible enough to resign and this is probably fatal to the national ID proposal.