Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Heads Will Roll

UPDATE:-
As Dave said in his posted comment.

Not forgetting to mention that it will be this generation of children, when adult, whose taxes will be helping to pay the state pensions of the currently working generation.

It further transpires that it was not a junior official who made a unilateral decision to send this data complete and unencrypted, as we were earlier led to believe; it was actually a decision made at a board meeting at the highest level.
The possibility of stripping out the sensitive information was actually raised, and rejected on cost grounds.
The mind boggles.
I bet this fiasco would not have happened if it had been MP or civil servants whose own confidential data was about to be sent from one department to another :-)

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Someone at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs government department saw fit to send two discs with the names and adresses and bank details of the 9.5 million parents in the UK who receive Child Benefit to another Government department and they were not encrypted nor were they sent by recorded or registered delivery so the shipment could be tracked.


Needless to say, the wretched discs have gone missing, putting every family in the UK at major risk of identity fraud. Every parent in the UK receives this Child Benefit as of right, including the Prime Minister, and will be affected by this fiasco.


What is worse, the names, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers of all 15.5 million children in Britain were also on those missing data discs. So even the children could be at risk of identity theft and fraud over the next few years if that information gets into the wrong hands.

Of course, all this happened a month ago, but the police were only notified on the 15th November and the news only broke last night.

And this lunatic Government thinks it is safe to be given biometric data etc to introduce Identity Cards. If it wasn't so terrifying it would be laughable.
I am not a happy camper at the thought of my family's details and bank information getting in the wrong hands.
Full story here.
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3 comments:

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Unimaginably awful!

Maybe everyone will have to acquire new bank accounts and Health Insurance numbers? I would sure change mine, assuming I could!

Anastasia

margi said...

From the perspective of someone who pays a lot of tax partly to support other people's children I can't see what the fuss is about. If you sup with the devil, use a long spoon, if you have children support them yourself and you won't have issues like this.

Dave said...

Margi,

Child Benefit is automatic. As Elizabeth noted, even the Prime Minister's wife is a child benefit recipient (the mother is always the payee). It is simply part of the admittedly flawed system. You can blame private citizens because of the way the Government has created this system and the ensuing fiasco.

You could say the same if the DWP lost all the details of pensioners. Arguing that there should be no national pension for old people is fine, but it doesn't change the fact that similar fiasco would be potentially devastating.