Feeds

Government personal data handling 'better'

Report smiles on efforts to be less leaky

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Measures put in place by the Government to better protect individuals' personal data have been successful but more work is needed, according to the first annual internal report due under the new regime.

After a series of embarrassing losses of personal information, including the 2007 loss of discs containing the names, addresses and bank details of 25 million child benefit claimants, the Government conducted a Data Handling Review (DHR).

The job of the DHR was to change the way that Government treated personal and sensitive data. The Review, completed in 2008, ordered that an annual report be published on the progress of the plans.

"The cultural, procedural and technical measures put in place by the DHR have led to a substantial improvement in the way that government protects information," said the report. "It is also clear that the landscape is continually changing and that we must adapt accordingly."

"A huge amount of work has been, and will continue to be, devoted to making sure the right protection for information is in place. There is no doubt that this task, and keeping pace with change is and remains, challenging," said the report. "The way that the internet has changed and shaped society over the course of the last decade serves to highlight the importance of information, how it is held, transferred and used."

The original Review did not examine the circumstances of previous data losses, but looked forward to proposed changes in Government behaviour. It was carried out by Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell and recommended the establishment of minimum security measures across Government for personal data; mandatory training for civil servants; and the establishment of standard data security responsibilities within departments.

"We have made significant and far-reaching progress in bringing about a culture change in the way that we value and handle personal data," said O'Donnell in the report on the progress made since 2008. "We have tightened processes and enhanced the skills of public sector staff that handle personal data with well over 450,000 civil servants trained in data security awareness since the publication of the DHR."

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said in the report that his organisation still had work to do to ensure the full implementation of the DHR's recommendations.

"Armed with our new powers of assessment, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) will aim to help Departments to live up to their commitments," he said. "In this way, the ICO will be helping to keep Whitehall up to scratch. But we also have a major job of education to do, helping organisations, both public and private, stick to the rules and keep out of trouble."

"It is clear that there remains no room for complacency," said Graham. "As organisations continue to use information, and do so in new ways, government must keep pace and ensure that the right protections are in place to safeguard public trust."

See:

* The report (30-pg/850KB pdf)

* The Data Handling Review (46-pg/218KB pdf)

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Security for virtualized datacentres

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
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.