November 2nd, 2009

Whoops, there goes another one

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Lovers of data storage (DNA Database, long-passed petty offences, personal & private information etc., etc., etc.) will be shocked & dismayed (or more probably not) to hear of a little-reported recent loss of private data by another government department.

The Rural Payments Agency is responsible for handing out new 4X4s & lots of cash for not growing anything – i.e. £1.6 billion of EU subsidy money -  to  UK farmers.

A CD & 38 backup tapes containing details of said 100,000 farmers, including bank details, addresses & security passwords went missing back in May but was only discovered last month during an audit by the department. The matter was reported to officials at DEFRA but ministers were not informed until last week when whistle-blowers within the department were increasingly frustrated about the Agency’s lack of action on the matter.

Farmers were not advised of the loss of their data until very recently.

You’d have thought that the government might have got its house in order with the protection of private & sensitive data & maybe started conforming with the requirements of legislation it brought in with the Data Protection Act to actually safeguard sensitive information, especially in view of all the other higher profile data losses in the last 2 or 3 years.

Sadly not, but the government still continues its march towards even greater storage of information.  And people wonder why some, like me,  are against data collection?

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