Feeds

UK driver details lost somewhere in America

Transport secretary says data drive unparked

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV
And insists on $5 million insurance per motor against accidents
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?