Feeds

Stats office deal sparks confidentiality fears

Possible Patriot Act entanglement raises hackles

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A union is warning that the privacy of sensitive information could be put at risk by a statistics agency IT deal.

Proposals by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to outsource its IT functions to Fujitsu Services have prompted fears from the civil service union over confidentiality of data.

The Public and Commercial Services Union expressed concerns that plans to hand over work to the company, which is part of the Fujitsu multinational group, may risk the disclosure of private information as a result of the USA Patriot Act.

Under the terms of the Act, companies with operations in the America have to provide personal data to the US government. The union fears this could make UK companies and individuals less willing to provide commercially and personally sensitive data to the high-profile ONS.

Peter Harris, the union's national officer, said: "The ONS produces a range of statistical products that are crucial to the economic planning of both the government and the private sector.

"The department, in turn, relies on businesses to supply their own data on a regular basis, to ensure that its statistics are accurate.

"That requires the contributing businesses to have absolute confidence that the confidentiality of such sensitive information will be protected.

"If the ONS now transfers a large part of its IT work to Fujitsu, there will be concerns about access to this data, which in turn could affect the smooth running of the ONS' business. We are calling on the department to reconsider its plans and to retain this work in-house."

A spokesperson for the ONS said that a final decision on the potential business deal with Fujitsu will be taken on 28 September.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.