Feeds

2007 worst ever year for data protection

Data on 37 million Brits mislaid

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Last year was the worst ever for data losses in the UK, with almost 37 million people having their private data compromised.

The government's loss of 25 million child benefit records was the largest single screw-up, but other government departments and private companies played their part too.

The figures were compiled by the Lib Dems, and party leader leader Nick Clegg said the problems showed the need for a rethink on data protection legislation, as well as calling for the immediate end to the ID card project.

Clegg said: "The ID card project is now in freefall, because faith in the Government's ability to handle personal data has hit crisis point.

"There is simply no way that any democratic government can expect an unwilling public to accept having their precious personal data cropped and stored in the world's largest database when they aren't confident that database will be safe."

Since the loss of 25 million records by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in November, Ruth Kelly admitted the loss of three million learner driver records, while nine NHS trusts admitted losing 168,000 confidential patient records. The Citizens Advice bureau in Belfast lost 60,000 records along with bank details when a laptop was stolen, and HMRC lost another 6,500 records of Countrywide Assured customers.

Private companies also had a poor year protecting data. TK Maxx lost an estimated five million UK credit card records after a deliberate attack compromised accounts for 200 million customers worldwide.

Job website monster.com had contact details for 3.1 million customers pinched when it was hacked.

Another quarter of a million private customer records from loans.co.uk were compromised when a member of staff sold them. Finally, in December, Leeds Building Society managed to lose data on its entire workforce of 1,000 people.

In total, 36,989,300 people in the UK have had their private records compromised.

The Lib Dems want an immediate end to the ID card project, and Nick Clegg has promised not to hand over his biometric data when ID cards become compulsory. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.