Feeds

UK driver details lost somewhere in America

Transport secretary says data drive unparked

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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.®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.