Feeds

Civil service apologises for HMRC data loss

Very civil of them

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.