Feeds

UK.gov loses 29 million personal records

Magnificent year-long datachunder

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.