Feeds

UK.gov loses 29 million personal records

Magnificent year-long datachunder

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

UK government departments have managed to leak a total of 29 million personal records over a single year.

In addition to the 25 million records spilled in the infamous lost child benefit CDs debacle, another four million records went astray in other stuff-ups, some of which have previously gone unreported.

Since the HMRC data loss fiasco, Whitehall departments have begun to include data of information leaks as part of their annual financial statements. An analysis of these figures by the BBC revealed that personal information disclosures across UK government departments, excluding information on the lost child benefit CDs, averaged 300,000 records a month in the year up until April 2008 (the end of the UK tax year).

The loss of three million records of driving-test candidates by the Department of Transport in May 2007 makes up the bulk of these figures. The disappearance of an unencrypted laptop containing 620,000 personal records, including sensitive financial information such as bank account and National Insurance numbers, by the Ministry of Defence in January was another big contributor to the running count.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said that measures introduced in the wake of reports into the HMRC data loss had established improved data handling procedures. "Departments are taking intensive action to improve data security, including extra training for hundreds of thousands of staff, and the problems reported in recently published resource accounts were made public as a result of this new approach," he said.

Opposition Cabinet Office spokesman Francis Maude said that the data loss figures show that the government "can't be trusted to protect people's personal details".

"Ministers should think again about its even more risky and intrusive projects such as the identity card database, the all-encompassing children's database and the property database for the council tax revaluation," Maude said, the Telegraphreports. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

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
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.