"Art is not a mirror with which to reflect the world; it is a hammer with which to shape it"

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Pretty Vacant

As you will now know, unless you have been ‘living in a box on Mars’*, 25 million Britons’ details (15 million adults, 10 million children)… names, addresses, dates of birth, child benefit numbers, National Insurance numbers, bank and/or building society details have been put onto two computer discs by the Child Benefit Agency at the HMRC by request of the National Audit Office. These were then sent to the NAO. By post. Unregistered. And got lost. And could be coming to a post office, letterbox, ditch, criminal mastermind’s mountain lair near you soon…

This isn’t the first Government data security disaster: 42 HMRC laptops containing confidential information have been lost already this year, including one containing the details of 15,000 customers of just one building society; the junior doctor application system was unsecured and personal details were open to all online; the UK Visa applications system was unsecured and personal details were open to all online and the DWP had the details of 1,500 staff swiped and used in a tax fraud…

Thank God this Government isn’t thinking of setting up some kind of vast national database with the details of every man, woman and child on it; and thankfully this database won’t contain any important details like National Insurance numbers, iris scans, fingerprints and potentially another 47 pieces of information; thankfully this Act hasn’t already been put before, and passed by, Parliament in some sort of sinister fait accompli…
…I just hope they spent the price of not registering that mail on something really worthwhile because it’s going to cost a lot more!

*Thank you The Simpsons.
**By the way, the wrist’s now nicely swollen and I’ve had to type this, letter by letter, with the end of my nose… I share because I care!

2 comments:

Elinor said...

Ha! Totally agree with you Jon. Hope the wrist gets better soon, mate.

Jon Peacey said...

Thank you kindly; I'm rather hoping it gets better soon but I'm not very good at this doing nothing lark! ;-)

(Apologies for the delay in reply, it was part of my not-so-successful trying not to do anything plan!)