An emerging governmental disaster is brewing.
It seems that HM Revenue and Customs have "lost" the personal data relating to EVERYBODY is receipt of Child Benefit.
A disk was being "sent" from Washington (Tyne and Wear) to London, and had gone missing. On it are personal details, including names and addresses, and bank details for some 7 million claims, relating to 15m claimants.
What's not clear at the moment is :-
- how it was being transported
- how it went missing
- exactly the degree of detail
- whether the disc was encrypted or password-locked in any way.
So ..... if it turns out to be unencrypted or locked, then it seems that personal details, including bank and NI data, for millions for people have been .... er .... misplaced by HM Revenue and Customs .
This is not the first governmental cockup resulting in lost data. Watchdog last night were on about a disc containing 15,000 records being lost, by 15 million!!!!
Whatever the end pof the story, this is political dynamite. The Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs, Paul Grey, has already resigned, and Chancellor Alastair Darling is to make an Emergency statement in the Commons in a few minutes. One question is that as Ministers were told about 10 days ago, allegedly including Darling, why are we only finding out about it now?
It's OUR naffing records, and OUR identities at risk of theft, yet ministers sit on the information. If told, people could take their own precautions, including perhaps changing bank data. But we can't do anything if the arrogant pillocks in power seek to keep it under wraps.
And this government really think they and their departments can be trusted with a national identity database? How long will it be before some plonker copies that onto a disc and then loses it?
Amongst other things, it turns out that "protocols for transfer" of data were "seriously breached". No kidding! Surely, for this type of data, there ought to be extraordinarily tight controls over how it can be accessed, let alone copied onto disc and "lost"?