A catalogue of errors


data.jpg Remember when Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs lost disks containing information on 20,000 people, including their bank account numbers and health details? Of course you do. Remember all the other dozens of cases where people in authority have 'lost' the data that they collect on us? Probably not.

But fortunately the Open Rights Group have been cataloguing them here.

There is, for example, the 5,123 patients' medical records that were on a laptop stolen from a Black Country hospital. Though that pales into insignificance alongside the NHS warning last month that perhaps 1.7m records have been dumped in skips, lost in the mail, left on stolen computers, pinched from doctors' lockers, or forgotten in the pub.

Also last month, a laptop was stolen from a Royal Navy officer. It contained information on 600,000 people, including their passport numbers, National Insurance and bank details.

Then last November, the Department for Work and Pensions lost yet another computer disk containing personal and fnancial details of 40,000 Housing Benefit claimants.

I don't know about you, but I just don't trust officialdom to protect the information it holds about me and other people like me. If there was one knock-down argument against the national ID database, the Open Rights Group list of failures is it.