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Government Sways in Fresh Data Breach Scandal

The government of Great Britain is at the center of a fresh scandal on data breach after Ruth Kelly, British Transport Secretary, disclosed a theft of personal information of over 3 Million learner drivers. The Press Association reported this on December 18, 2007.

The lost hard drive from a protected computer in Iowa held names, e-mail addresses, postal addresses and phone numbers but no financial data like bank account or credit card numbers.

The government is reeling from another embarrassment even as it reported that it still couldn't find two missing computer discs that contain sensitive data on 25 Million people.

Alistair Darling, Finance Minister, acknowledged the incident as indicative of a serious slack by the Revenue and Customs department of British administration. Voanews reported this on December 18, 2007. Darling said that after officials sent the discs by post for an audit, they got lost on the way; however, there was no indication of the information going to wrong quarters.

The opposition party has blamed the government for putting Britain's one-half population at risk of ID fraud. The compact discs had details of over 7 Million families entitled to benefits of child welfare.

The recent security breach involving Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd. working on a private contract with the Driving Standards Agency was notified to the concerned ministry in June.

Ms. Kelly of welfare department said that she only came to know about the incident when an audit was conducted for the security of her department following the controversy around the 'child welfare benefit' scheme.

On December 17 2007, government officials emphatically said that the security violation was not of a major order.

Ms. Kelly also said that Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner, advised her that the data loss would not result in a substantial threat, according to The Press Association. Kelly presented Thomas' remarks when Darling commented that not much progress was made in the investigation of the lost discs, despite police hunts and the announcement of a cash reward of 20,000 pounds for the return of the CDs.

Conservatives member Philip Hammond critically described the incident as the most disastrous data breach in the history of GB.

Related article: Government Departments of New Zealand & Bulgaria Attack by Viruses

» SPAMfighter News - 12/31/2007

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