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Print 28 comment(s) - last by littlebitstrou.. on Dec 19 at 10:27 AM

Whoops! They did it again -- Britain's government looses millions of more people's personal records.

The UK government is making a run at the record books, but not a very positive one.  Britain's government, plagued by bureaucratic fumblings, is setting new records in how many citizens' personal data one country can manage to lose.  Last month there was news of a record setting loss of 25 million citizen's records, which were sent in the mail by CD and mysteriously vanished.  "Catch Me If You Can" criminal legend Frank Abagnale publicly suggested that someone had purposefully plotted to steal the data, which included bank records, and succeeded -- due to Britain's lax security.

Now the UK officials are twiddling their thumbs and awkwardly trying to put a positive spin on the latest shocking development; they have managed to lose another 3 million citizens' data.

Britain's bureaucratic system electronically stores records for learner drivers, including information on their vehicle, name, address, and other personal information.  Much of this information was privately contracted for storage to a facility in Iowa, in the United States.  This facility revealed to government officials in May that it had lost a single hard disk, which contained over 3 million records.  The UK's Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly, in turn, sat on this information and did not reveal it to Britain's Parliament until this week.

She issued a short public apology, referencing fears of possible identity theft that the victims of this latest bumble may endure, saying, "I apologize for any uncertainty or concern that these individuals may experience."

Fortunately no banking or credit card info is included in the records, however, a malicious party could use the information to apply for credit cards and commit identity theft on a massive scale.

The loss is seen in Britain as another major embarrassment to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the Labor Party (LP), who are struggling with public antipathy.  The Conservative party is seizing the issue as a further means to attack the struggling LP and build a lead into coming elections.

Security remains an increasingly hot topic, as everyone from nuclear plant officials to everyday citizens continue to show a lack of savvy for protecting themselves online.  Between lax data and network management procedures at government and business facilities, to users giving up personal information for an abstract sense of "trust", the greatest threat to public and government security is not some malicious hacker, but the users and officials themselves. 

Britain is seeing the catastrophic consequences of this ignorance, but it is unlikely to be alone as users struggle to separate real threats from fiction and safeguard themselves in the 21st century digital world.



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RE: Nice
By Christopher1 on 12/18/2007 12:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. I am not at all paranoid about government having my information (I abide by laws, though I am trying to get some laws I don't agree with changed) but I am seriously getting pissed at government for losing information so farking often!

It's just gotten to the point where I think that the federal government should reimburse everyone who has their personal information lost at least 100 dollars.

The only thing that makes government think and take pre-emptive action in these cases is the threat of LOSING MONEY, just like with businesses right now.


RE: Nice
By TomZ on 12/18/2007 1:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only thing that makes government think and take pre-emptive action in these cases is the threat of LOSING MONEY, just like with businesses right now.

I don't think the government really cares about losing money. After all, citizens don't hold politicians accountable for too much any more, and certainly making mistakes and paying out "compensation" is not anything that would upset the average US citizen.


RE: Nice
By littlebitstrouds on 12/18/2007 1:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yet another wonderful post by TomZ. Always so insightful, and full of hope... I only wish I knew how this guy could be so smart, and know everything.


RE: Nice
By straycat74 on 12/18/2007 4:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
You could start by saying why he is wrong, if he is.


RE: Nice
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 10:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think the government really cares about losing money. After all, citizens don't hold politicians accountable for too much any more, and certainly making mistakes and paying out "compensation" is not anything that would upset the average US citizen.


Probably all of it. I guess where you live, you don't vote. Cause where I live, we do, and a mass majority vote because of being upset about decisions politicians have made that we don't agree on. Please argue with your aggressive "Ughhhh I don't agree with who's in office so therefore democracy isn't working and Americans are stupid." Cause apparently there aren't voting sessions every 2 years to change the government. No accountability, what a joke.


RE: Nice
By straycat74 on 12/18/2007 4:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
The government does not worry about losing money. The government has no money. It is ours. All of the lawsuits where the government is sued and pays out. Yep thats ours.


RE: Nice
By GeorgeOrwell on 12/18/2007 11:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think should also mention how the average citizen gets back less than 4 cents worth of tangible goods and services for every Federal tax dollar.

Though a word to the wise: this kind of talk will land you in Gitmo these days.

Remember, "information is terrorism".


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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