Feeds

Stats office deal sparks confidentiality fears

Possible Patriot Act entanglement raises hackles

Reducing security risks from open source software

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.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.