Millions of L-drivers' data lost (UK)

The details of three million candidates for the driving theory test have gone missing, Ruth Kelly has told MPs. Names, addresses and phone numbers - but not financial data - were among details on a computer hard drive which went missing in the US in May. It belonged to a contractor to the Driving Standards Agency, the transport secretary told MPs. It is the latest in a series of data losses since discs with 25m people's details on were lost by HM Revenue. Earlier the chancellor told MPs there was no evidence of fraud after the loss of the child benefit data by Revenue and Customs in October. Alistair Darling has been given an interim report into that loss, but said conclusions would be outlined in a full report out next year.

The head of HMRC, and its data security chief, are also to be probed by MPs. The two Child Benefit discs that went missing in October contained names, dates of birth, bank and address details. They were lost when a junior official at HM Revenue and Customs in Tyne and Wear sent them by courier unregistered and unencrypted, to the National Audit Office in London - but they did not arrive. It is believed police think the discs may have accidentally been thrown out as rubbish. Officers have visited several tips around London to check what waste was delivered there. A large scale hunt for the discs has failed to find them. The government has apologised and said there was no evidence the discs had fallen into the wrong hands. But millions of families have been told to be on alert for fraudsters using their details, stored on the discs.

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boho said,
The UK needs a Ron Paul!

If he doesn't win the U.S. election, send him over here, it doesn't take much to get elected here ;)

I do agree we need somebody who says "take less data" instead of "beef up security, move it to one place, etc", not a single politician here has said it would be a good idea to have less databases filled with personal data.

The "Labour" Party. Aren't they the British Republican Party? I know that here in Canada the Conservative Party is the Canadian version of the republicans. In fact Harper can't drop his pants fast enough and bend over.... He's trying to copy all of Bush's many, many, many failed policies that are ruining the country. He wants to take the surplus created by the Liberals and throw it away on tax cuts for the rich. He even wants to take the money set aside for paying down on the national debt and give it to the rich as well...

Kinda, they were once socialists, now they're awfully close to the Republican party ... the actual Conservative party were always close with the Republicans but they've moved to the left of them to try win votes, so in this country you have to say Conservative with a capital "C" to refer the party and lower case "c" to people who are just conservative, in this case Labour ... 2 parties who are basically the same, democracy!

It always makes me laugh when people shout BLAME LABOUR!!!
It wouldn't make a diffrence if it was the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats or anybody else. People seem to be under the illusion that the government has an all seing eye or something and has complete control over everything.

What was the data doing on that drive in the first place? The data is not allowed out of the building, let alone the country without permission, and never on someone's laptop.

[The HMRC discs] were lost when a junior official at HM Revenue and Customs in Tyne and Wear sent them by courier unregistered and unencrypted, to the National Audit Office in London - but they did not arrive.

Should read:
They were lost when a junior official under the orders and supervision of senior officials sent them by courier...
I like how the allegedly impartial BBC misses out the important point that the junior could only have burnt the discs with the authorisation of someone higher up. Instead it paints the picture of some peon screwing up, when (s)he was only doing as (s)he was told.

...there was no evidence the discs had fallen into the wrong hands

Yet. The data of the current bank accounts is useful right now, but the data of the children is worth so much more as that enables the ID thieves to target them when they are old enough to apply for credit. This is in the next few years (and for the subsequent 18 years), meaning that there can be unauthorised lines of credit raised against millions, before they themselves have even considered credit. Just think of it: every day there's another few hundred new opportunities...

zer0day said,
This must be a bloody record, losing so much stuff in one government period.

There is a simple reason for this, before they came to power most stuff was stored on large tapes, or thousands of floppies these would have been much harder to lose.

This is something we need to start getting used to, as storing data becomes smaller.

"on a computer hard drive which went missing in the US in May" used the BBC mail in form to ask if that was a typo, I'd love to know WTH it was doing in the US otherwise!

You only had to read the next sentence. "It belonged to a contractor to the Driving Standards Agency, the transport secretary told MPs." Although I agree in that you would think they'd contract people within the UK and not from another country.

Brodel said,
You only had to read the next sentence. "It belonged to a contractor to the Driving Standards Agency, the transport secretary told MPs." Although I agree in that you would think they'd contract people within the UK and not from another country.

I asked the question because nothing in the article, including that sentence, gave any indication as to why on earth this data was in the US.

I think they are just incompetent!

We need an election because Gordon is not fit for the job and was not elected into power which is not democratic. I have real issue with the Scottish people being allowed to vote on issues affecting England yet English cannot vote on those affecting Scotland... what the hell is going on with that? We need to tell the scots to get out and stop interfering! By the way this means Gordon too!!

Maybe they are being setup?

Seems little strange...

Conservatives better? Name 1 of their policies? 'Be nice and agree with the public, disagree with Labour.' policy don't count.

PS I'm not Labour but they do beat aternatives...

Being setup? Nonsense. They are simply incompetent and now everybody is digging around to try and find out what else they've done wrong.

NEway, the Conservatives have proposed a lot of ideas, many of which are stolen weeks later by Labour but in a watered down / ineffective manner. They proposed cutting benefits to people that turned down a fair job offer. They proposed taxing non-doms to prevent a tax loophole. They have proposed controlled immigration. The Conservatives have said they oppose student topup fees and have voted, and continue to vote, against them.

On the otherhand we have Labour, a party that promised a referendum on the EU constitution in their election manifesto and then decided it didn't want to when it looked like it would work against them. The issue isn't even the consitution, which seems like a sensible idea to me, but that they promised to do something to win the election and then promptly decided not to. We have a record level of investment in education and yet our standards are slipping and more people are leaving school without being able to read / write. We don't have enough prison places and yet Labour has been in power for over a decade and was warned by the Conservatives that this would be an issue.

So my arguement is that the Labour government has proven to be sleazy, incompetent and a threat to civil liberties, and still they continue to get worse... what's the harm in choosing the Conservatives or the Lib Dems? They both have decent policies and visions. Sure they could be worse but they could also be a hell of a lot better - Labour we KNOW are bad. All the parties are very centrist so it's not like there would be a huge upheaval... Labour got into power by adopting most of the Conservatives policies - now they don't even support the unions and tax poor people more than ever... what do they even stand for? Whatever it is they haven't achieved it.

theyarecomingforyou said,
[b]So my arguement is that the Labour government has proven to be sleazy, incompetent and a threat to civil liberties, and still they continue to get worse...

Yeah if they keep going like this, they might be as incompetent and sleazy as the Tories...

bobbba said,
Yeah if they keep going like this, they might be as incompetent and sleazy as the Tories...

Labour are the only government to ever have been under criminal investigation for giving out honours for cash. Seems like someone has a rather typical view on the Tories, yet can't see its happening ten fold right in front of their eyes with Labour.

ziadoz said,

Labour are the only government to ever have been under criminal investigation for giving out honours for cash. Seems like someone has a rather typical view on the Tories, yet can't see its happening ten fold right in front of their eyes with Labour.

The Cash for Honours inquiry was into both the Labour and Tories parties so whose eyes aren't open?

bobbba said,
The Cash for Honours inquiry was into both the Labour and Tories parties so whose eyes aren't open?

If I'm not mistaken the suspicion's arouse because Labour put forward people for peerages who had conveniently made significant donations to the Labour party. Its also pretty clear in the last few months with more Labour donation foul ups which party has really been caught with their pants round their ankles.

My eyes are wide open to a government that's ****ed all over democracy (permission to protest outside parliament?) and its people in just 10 years. You're so busy dwelling over the Thatcher era you've missed the near-irreparable damage Blair and Brown are caused to the UK.

Brodel said,
That's such a generic throw away comment, and the better alternative is?....

The Conservatives. The Lib Dems. Labour has proven that they cannot govern the country well and now it's time for a replacement.

Brodel said,
That's such a generic throw away comment, and the better alternative is?....

The Conservatives. Only the Conservatives. They're the only political party with at least half a brain. Personally, I'd rather have Jeremy Clarkson as PM!

MightyJordan said,

The Conservatives. Only the Conservatives. They're the only political party with at least half a brain. Personally, I'd rather have Jeremy Clarkson as PM! :D

Yeah it is about time for crappy labour to bugger off. Lol, Jeremy Clarkson wud make an awsome pm.

Yawn, throw away comments, you guys must have real short memories to be thinking so fondly of the Tories...

as for Clarkson, he's a funny guy but he's no politician

The Tories weren't perfect by any means, but Labour are out of control and seemingly unaccountable for their actions. Even the guy who resigned over the Child Benefit data loss is back in another cushy job until his retirement on a massive salary. Labour are so desperate to stay in power they keep stealing Tory policies and watering them down (e.g. Inheritance tax). We won't even go into Labour and their other ICT disasters. Quite frankly I'd take the Tories (or Clarkson) over Labour any day.

ziadoz said,
The Tories weren't perfect by any means, but Labour are out of control and seemingly unaccountable for their actions. Even the guy who resigned over the Child Benefit data loss is back in another cushy job until his retirement on a massive salary. Labour are so desperate to stay in power they keep stealing Tory policies and watering them down (e.g. Inheritance tax). We won't even go into Labour and their other ICT disasters. Quite frankly I'd take the Tories (or Clarkson) over Labour any day.

I think a drunk Charles Kenneddy (is there something about that name and politicians that makes them drunk?) could do a better job than the Gordon "Smile!" Brown government.