HMRC data loss could be tip of iceberg
Even Daley Thompson couldn't chuck disks this quick
UK Identity Crisis Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has lost two further CDs containing private information.
Staff at HMRC have told police that another two CDs are missing, according to the Times. They contain information on thousands of people and were sent to offices in London, but have yet to appear.
We called the Met, but it refused to comment beyond saying officers were investigating the original loss of data and searching for the missing discs.
Last month, HMRC lost information on 15,000 people after another CD was lost. The disc was sent from HMRC's Newcastle office to Standard Life's office in Edinburgh, but never arrived.
More from the Times here. ®
Why can't we accept human error and be reactive as well as proactive
The majority of the fire service's activities are based around prevention rather than cure. This is perfectly sensible but there are still fires that they have to put out, people cut out of cars and cats recovered from trees.
There are all sorts of proactive ways to 'ensure' data security on computers or other devices but let's face it computers and their data are stolen. This can not be denied, all over the modern world. When this happens it is not good enough to blame a junior official or to dissect internal procedures. Somebody has to react. In the recent case of the HMRC disks then the police are now scraping around in landfills, hoping for the best. But with computers, in particular mobile computers, this needn't be the case.
A stolen laptop can be located anywhere in the world that there is a mobile phone signal (quite some estate) and before a potential data thief can start probing the contents the data can be deleted to US Department of Defense standards (seven sector sweeps). Surely this method provides a level of reassurance not previously available.
I have seen companies such as Virtual Network Partners who claim to be able to offer a similar service to this. There is more information at www.virtualnetworkpartners.eu
Don't worry the discs will turn up as a free give away with The Mail on Sunday
I work for a local authority. Apparently we have a data protection guru (official title - Data Protection Expert!) who advises on all aspects of information security and data protection.
Nobody knows who they are.
That's some guru!!