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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