Feeds

UK driver details lost somewhere in America

Transport secretary says data drive unparked

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.