UK goverment is ignoring the importance of your confidential details

This is not a laughing matter anymore. The first large hit to the UK government was the reporting of 25 million child benefit records stored on disks going missing [1, 2, 14, 15] . Then we had more going missing [13, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. To top the icing on this wonderful cake called ‘e-government and e-commerce tossed fruit salad’, just today we read that:

Thousands of driver details lost [4]

Thousands of staff details leaked [5]

Building society loses staff data [6]

I would be surprised if this quarter (i.e. based on the US fiscal year [3]) was not named ‘the quarter of privacy lost’. Let’s hope that something will come out of reports like [7] and all the publicity. If in the end they will protect the consumer or will it just be another opportunity for a money making scheme?

How hard can it be to enforce an encryption paradigm where a public key cryptography [16] is used by the high ranking members of a department?

Note to self: Putting a price on 25 million records is really tough. Giving a £20,000 reward for the discs, containing the records, that are ‘worth £1.5bn’ to criminals, there must be something wrong there, i think.

Links Used:

[1] UK’s families put on fraud alert, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7103566.stm

[2] Private data ‘also given to firm’, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7108532.stm

[3] Fiscal year, en.wikipedia.org – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiscal_year

[4] Thousands of driver details lost, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7138408.stm

[5] Thousands of staff details leaked, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7138426.stm

[6] Building society loses staff data, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7138106.stm

[7] Better data protection ‘required’, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7131980.stm

[8] Drivers sent wrong DVLA details, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7131506.stm

[9] More firms ‘admit disc failings’, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7127951.stm

[10] £20,000 reward offered for discs, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7128851.stm

[11] Discs ‘worth £1.5bn’ to criminals, BBC News –http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7117291.stm

[12] Personal files go to wrong office, BBC News- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7116944.stm

[13] Six more data discs ‘are missing’, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7111056.stm

[14] E-mails reveal data check warning, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7106987.stm

[15] Data lost by Revenue and Customs (15,000 Standard Life customers), BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7103911.stm

[16] Public Key Cryptography, en.wikipedia.org – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key_cryptography

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5 Responses to UK goverment is ignoring the importance of your confidential details

  1. James D says:

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

    Recently a goverment agency, let’s say it was the DVA in – oh, Northern Ireland, – sent a CD of unprotected and unencrypted data to – Swansea by a commerical courier who then lost the CD.

    Here’s the punchline. There are no innocent parties here. The names are as stated. Here’s the full story from the Beeb (dated 11 December, 2007) – Thousands of driver details lost – http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/click/rss/1.0/-/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7138408.stm

  2. Smock says:

    Or follow Ref Link [4] 😛

  3. Drew says:

    Umm, dont have time to read througth them all, but which ones were encrpted?

  4. Konstantinos Xynos says:

    Drew: Nice one! We can only hope they are encrypted. My understanding is that none of them was encrypted.

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    I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

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