Data Policy Thoughts


Anybody seen this dataHas anybody seen this data ?

If so, please return it in the envelope provided, as the owner would quite like it back.

Lisa, I think was a little shocked this evening when I jumped of the sofa and started swearing at the TV news.

Dear readers outside of the UK, I must explain.. the Government department responsible for taxation in the UK sent a dump of a database containing detailed personal and financial details of 25 million people (nearly half the UK population) on a couple of CD’s in the mail and it has gone missing !!

As an IT professional this is wrong on so many levels it really defies belief, why store personal information including address, national insurance details, Date of Birth etc in the same database as peoples bank details?, why dump them to a CD and not use the government secure intranet which has costs tens if not hundreds of millions to develop and operate, why not encrypt the data ?

The list just goes on and on.

The government say – don’t worry we don’t think the database has fallen into the wrong hands – well I don’t feel very reassured.

Now I’m just trying to convince Lisa to change her bank account, as she along with every mother/carer in the country has their bank accounts security compromised by these idiots !!


Looks like the data has been found.. don’t you just love the British sense of humour ?


Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

17 replies on “F**kwits”

The irony here for me, Ed, is in having the feeling toward a distinct probability, that the entire former Monty Python cast had jumped up just as you did while watching the tele — with similar verbage, and with similar mannerisms.

It’s in this feeling, and toward this probability, that I take comfort.

“A gap’s opened up between what we’re told about data protection and the reality”

BBC political editor Nick Robinson

Another reason not to give your bank detais to the government, personally I never do.

Also if all this data is so easily available to all government departments why oh why do they so easily make mistakes and then expet you to pay them back if they do (how am I supposed to know if they have overpaid me or not), and why do I have to fill in one hundred page forms for every benefit department when they share data?

This security breach raises serious questions about the proposed biometric ID card scheme and how safe is it? A bank account number, pin number, password or credit card number can all be changed but the minutea of a fingerprint or Iris if compromised cannot be changed. Therefore the individual’s proof of identity could be compromised for life!

Equally a fingerprint scanner is not fool proof. Myth Busters showed how a fingerprint could be lifted from a glass or other object and transposed onto ballistic gel or similar that can then be read by a fingerprint scanner.

Read all about it at

It would not surprise me when the biometric ID card scheme comes into operation that kits will be on sale via the Internet. Just think as well as skimming your credit card in a restaurant they will also be able to lift your fingerprints and therefore your biometric data from the wine glass! Ah but they say the data is encrypted yes it is, but any cryptanalyst will tell you repetition is very bad news! Are they then going to change the encryption key and salt value every time your new ID card is read? No I rest my case!

Maybe the person who done that was surfing the webste ‘Free Our Data: Make taxpayers’ data available to them’ and decided to do something about it?!?

How many times have we asked the Ordnance Survey NOT to send £4,000,000 of OS MasterMap data on DVD/CD’s by post? 😉 because they can’t seem to send it securely and electronically even if they advertise they can! Thank god for change only updates now (still on DVD though!)

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