Feeds

UK driver details lost somewhere in America

Transport secretary says data drive unparked

The essential guide to IT transformation

Personal details of three million British driving test candidates are currently enjoying an extended fly drive holiday in the US, the transport secretary Ruth Kelly admitted this evening.

Kelly told the House of Commons that a hard drive containing the information had disappeared from a “secure facility” in Iowa City, Iowa. The disk was in the care of Pearson Driving Assessments, a contractor to the UK’s driving standards agency. The department was told back in May that the disk had unparked itself.

Kelly insisted that the data was configured specfically for Pearson, and not readily accessible to third parties. She also said the data did not include financial data or national insurance numbers, so the department did not feel it needed to contact the individuals concerned, although a helpline has been put in place.

Personal data for three million driving theory test candidates was on the disk, including names, postal address, phone number, the test fee paid, test centre, a code indicating how the test was paid for and in some cases an email address. It spanned candidates for the theory test from September 2004 to April this year.

So together with the fact that it’s in Pearson’s mystery format we can rest easy that should be totally beyond the wits of any ID fraudsters to take advantage of the data. Most of the individuals listed on the hard drive can be assumed to be in their late teens or early twenties, and therefore unlikely to have had their details hosed out the door in the HMRC data debacle.

Kelly today called for backup from the Information Commissioner’s Office, which duly said it did not feel the data breach held as much potential for mis-use as that set free by HMRC.

Kelly said the government would review the rules surrounding the sending and storage of data outside the UK. Her statement came immediately after one from Chancellor Alistair Darling, who updating MPs on HMRC’s fruitless search for CDs containing the child benefit database.

"The public have a right to expect that the information they provide to government will be held securely and used appropriately," Kelly told MPs. The public might also naively feel they have a right to have their personal data kept in the UK, and not sent to any third countries, particularly one with as cavalier an attitude to data privacy as the US.®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.