Feeds

HMRC mails wrong private info to 50,000 taxpayers

New government, old data loss

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs apologised today for sending out private information to 50,000 tax credit recipients.

One taxpayer who contacted The Register said: "We received our tax credit notice with our National Insurance details but on the back were two strangers' work, childcare and pay details."

He then received a note from the Revenue which blamed a print supplier for wrongly preparing the notices.

The letter, signed by Paul Gerrard, director of tax credits, said: "I wish to apologise for this error and any inconvenience that it might cause ... I would be very grateful if you could return the incorrect notice in the envelope provided." The note included a stamped addressed envelope.

We asked HMRC how many of the 50,000 letters were wrongly printed and how many included other people's details but they could not tell us.

A spokeswoman for HMRC said: "HMRC takes data security extremely seriously. Unfortunately an error has occurred in one of the tax credits print runs causing some customer information to be wrongly formatted.

"Investigations are underway to identify the cause of the problem and we will be contacting affected customers in writing this week, apologising and providing a corrected award notice. An initial analysis shows that ID theft could not result from this printing error."

Last year the Revenue responded to the Poynter Review, which was set up after the loss of the entire child benefit database in 2007. A civil servant burned the database onto two CDs and popped them in the post. When the 25 million records failed to arrive they were sent again, twice.

The Rev promised "to make best endeavours to implement the Poynter recommendations by 25 June 2011".

13 months to go then... ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.