Feeds

Civil service apologises for HMRC data loss

Very civil of them

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

UK Identity Crisis Everyone whose information was included on the two CDs of child benefit recipients which the government lost should have received a written apology this morning.

The letter - from Dave Hartnett, acting chairman of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs - apologises for the loss and claims: "The copy of the data is still likely to be on Government property. The police are now conducting a search, there is no evidence that it is in the possession of anyone else."

The loss of two CDs containing 25m records including names, addresses and bank details is the UK's, and probably the world's, largest ever data loss.

The letter warns people to contact their bank if they receive unexpected bills, invoices or receipts.

People who use their child's name or data of birth for a password are advised to change it. Otherwise, the letter says, there is no need for people to contact their bank or building society.

The letter ends: "I would like to offer my personal apologies for any worry or concern this data loss may cause you. And I can assure you that all efforts are being made to ensure that such a loss can never happen again."

Today also saw the release of the terms of reference of Kieran Poynter's investigation into the data disaster.

Poynter will investigate:

"HMRC practices and procedures in the handling and transfer of confidential data on taxpayers and benefit/credit recipients; the processes for ensuring that these procedures are communicated to staff and the safeguards in place to ensure they are adhered to; the reasons why these failed to prevent the loss of confidential data; whether these procedures and processes are sufficient to ensure the confidentiality of personal data."

The initial report will be handed in 14 December with the final report looking at wider implications being ready by Spring.

More from HMRC here.

A spokesman for HMRC told us this morning that police searches for the missing discs were continuing. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
Stop ROBOT exploitation, cry striking Foxconn workers
HP downturn and automation eroding overtime on China's production lines
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.