Feeds

UK.gov loses 29 million personal records

Magnificent year-long datachunder

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

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
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.