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Thread: Government loses 15m people's personal data

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    Government loses 15m people's personal data

    An emerging governmental disaster is brewing.

    It seems that HM Revenue and Customs have "lost" the personal data relating to EVERYBODY is receipt of Child Benefit.

    A disk was being "sent" from Washington (Tyne and Wear) to London, and had gone missing. On it are personal details, including names and addresses, and bank details for some 7 million claims, relating to 15m claimants.

    What's not clear at the moment is :-

    - how it was being transported
    - how it went missing
    - exactly the degree of detail
    - whether the disc was encrypted or password-locked in any way.

    So ..... if it turns out to be unencrypted or locked, then it seems that personal details, including bank and NI data, for millions for people have been .... er .... misplaced by HM Revenue and Customs .

    This is not the first governmental cockup resulting in lost data. Watchdog last night were on about a disc containing 15,000 records being lost, by 15 million!!!!

    Whatever the end pof the story, this is political dynamite. The Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs, Paul Grey, has already resigned, and Chancellor Alastair Darling is to make an Emergency statement in the Commons in a few minutes. One question is that as Ministers were told about 10 days ago, allegedly including Darling, why are we only finding out about it now?

    It's OUR naffing records, and OUR identities at risk of theft, yet ministers sit on the information. If told, people could take their own precautions, including perhaps changing bank data. But we can't do anything if the arrogant pillocks in power seek to keep it under wraps.

    And this government really think they and their departments can be trusted with a national identity database? How long will it be before some plonker copies that onto a disc and then loses it?

    Amongst other things, it turns out that "protocols for transfer" of data were "seriously breached". No kidding! Surely, for this type of data, there ought to be extraordinarily tight controls over how it can be accessed, let alone copied onto disc and "lost"?

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    CMC
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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    idiots

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Obviously details are a bit sketchy to say the best at the moment however I personally am a little concered as my details could have been on that disc.

    Shall wait a few days until we get the full extent of the potential issues and then decide if anything what to do.

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Bloody plonkers.....it just gets worse and worse...
    sig removed by Zak33

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Thank the gods I don't do Britain any more.

    (Thanks Evilmunky)
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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    excuse me, i'm just off to the post office with our NAS, time to send it by regular un-registered post.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Can they secure anything correctly?

    I mean first they have the issues with the borders and not knowing how many people have entered the country and now we have this issue.

    Those 419 spammers and fraudsters must be laughing and rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of this information getting into their hands.

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    Jay
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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    it will be encrypted but I bet who ever has stolen this (if that is the case) will be on the inside anyway.

    Don't worry about it, there is nothing you can really do at the moment.
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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Yay, go the government. No doubt my details would be on there too.

    *edit* BBC reporting 25m people's data
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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    25m

    But yes, whichever junior minister ignored the strict guidelines in place to stop this happening should be prosecuted.

    Actually, I think it's time we brought back the stocks.

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data


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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Quote Originally Posted by jay_oasis View Post
    it will be encrypted but I bet who ever has stolen this (if that is the case) will be on the inside anyway.

    Don't worry about it, there is nothing you can really do at the moment.
    From the Chancellor's statement, it wasn't encrypted. It was, however, password-protected. I don't see that given anyone with any nous a lot of reassurance.

    It was, apparently, the entire Child Benefit database, affecting 25m claims. And a "junior official" was able to download the entire thing and stick it in an envelope. Alright, it was internal mail, but that just means it was given to TNT. And when it went missing, what did that official do? Ran off another copy and sent it again - recorded delivery this time.

    The Chancellor reassures us that HMRC security protocols were broken, for this to happen, and that in future it'll need written authorisation from senior management. Well, great. That's really helpful.

    My question is not why a junior was able to breach "protocol", but what on earth sort of half-arsed security system they have where a "junior" (Alastair Darling's choice of description, not mine) had the level of access to be able to download the entire database, with or without breaking procedure?

    These people don't have the first notion of what they're doing. And to my mind, since we don't elect senior civil servants and since those civil service departments are run by ministers, a civil servant resigning is not enough. The minister that has been responsible for this department for all but a few months of the last 11 years, and under whose iron-fisted (or clunking-fisted) grip this farce was operated, needs to carry the can.

    Yes, Gordon Brown, I mean YOU.

    A political head needs to roll. This is a gross enough dereliction of duty that the buck ought to stop in one place and one place only.

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Just people that have put in child benefit claims?? If so then i think i am ok

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    Ah great looks like my details would have been on there as well then if its the entire database...

    I think its a complete joke that a junior minister as access to be able to download the full database in the first place and why would a government office use normal post for sensitive data ?

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    i like how the chairman has resigned! It is cool! Resigns for someone stealing something!!

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    Re: Government loses 15m people's personal data

    That's my details out there for all to see then, hooray!

    Fiver says the password is either password, qwerty or the idiot's date of birth.
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