UK: 25m child benefit records lost

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by arkitect, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Sep 5, 2005
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    Bath, United Kingdom
    #1
    Unbelievable…

    :confused::eek:


    25m child benefit records lost
    Discs containing the personal details - including, where relevant, bank account details - of all the families in the UK receiving child benefit have gone missing, after being posted from HM Revenue and Customs to the audit office.

    Discs containing the personal details - including, where relevant, bank account details - of all the families in the UK receiving child benefit have gone missing, after being posted from HM Revenue and Customs to the audit office.
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    It's at times like these that I'm grateful all our children are too old to be eligible for Child Benefit.

    Amazing that the Chancellor hasn't resigned yet. I mean, how much of a cock-up does he have to oversee to find his position untenable? How much worse could it possibly be? And these are the bozos who want to be in charge of all our details for the ID card scheme? Somehow I think that particular surveillance-fest is not going to make it.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    I don't think the Chancellor should resign just because some junior manager didn't use the correct security protocols while transferring data. The head of HM Revenue and Customs has already fallen on his sword.

    But yeah, unencrypted on physical media in the post? Not registered, not special delivery or even couriered? How cheap and useless are they? :confused:
     
  4. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #4
    So how long do you think before all this data i.e. bank accounts and addresses etc are on eBay or something? :mad:

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. This country has huge tits and they are pointing up! (as well as running it).
     
  5. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #5
    I'd like to stand up for a fellow Gov. Dept. and say we're very cheap cost effective and clueless.
    Hey, the less clues you have the less you have to lose!!
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    It SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE for this to happen.
     
  7. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    Not much I can say to this other than it doesn't surprise me. Whitehall is a complete mess and doesn't know its arse from it's elbow, and all Brown and Co. can do is throw our money at it and hope it sorts itself.

    Really quite embarrassing, not just for the department or the Government, but the entire country.
     
  8. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #8
    Well, our bank details are likely among those 'lost', what with us getting Child Benefit. Fantastic. :rolleyes:

    As I mentioned in another thread over in the PRSI forum, this is another reason why the introduction of ID cards here in the UK will rightly be opposed – because, quite simply, when we give our personal and private details to the Government we can't trust them to safeguard them.
     
  9. richkent72 macrumors regular

    #9
    And remember, this is the same Chancellor who says your £900 of tax is safe at Northern Rock :rolleyes:
     
  10. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    When you are the head of a government agency you take full responsibility for the mistakes it makes.

    The same is true of Ian Blair- people say that we shouldn't be too harsh on him personally. What they fail to remember is that the Met were functioning with no less than 19 severe failings in security, training and organization before the incident.

    Incompetence, once again.
     
  11. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #11
    Not to mention the post-incident cover-up and smearing of the victim. What kind of culture exists at The Met under Ian Blair where that is considered acceptable?

    EDIT : Back on topic. I'm now wondering exactly why the National Audit Office needed this information in the first place. Surely data this sensitive should only be available to those that absolutely need to access it.

    If they want someone to come in and take a damn hard look at their security processes, I know a guy ;)
     
  12. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #12
    No, your details WERE "lost". ALL child benefit accounts were on the discs!
     
  13. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #13
    I wasn't sure at first how old the information that's been lost was – I did know though that it went missing a while back and the issue has only just come to light. As our child is but a baby I didn't know if the data loss predated our benefit claim but further reading shows that our details will indeed be among those that have gone walkabout.

    Which caps my day off nicely...
     
  14. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #14
    Why???

    How the hell can it be Darling's fault if some junior official screws up???
     
  15. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #15
    What the hell sort of organisation not only allows junior employees access to the bank account details of half the UK population, but also permits them to burn those details to CD and ship them out of the office? And what the hell are the NAO doing even asking for this data in the first place? This shambles is symptomatic of a far bigger problem within the Treasury and HMRC. They obviously don't give a **** about data security, and the man at the top is doing nothing about it.

    This is the sort of incident that brings down governments by showing just how deep their failings go. One third of voters are potentially compromised by this. If Darling doesn't go, Labour haven't got a hope at the next election.
     
  16. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #16
    More so, one third of voter's children are potentially compromised too. That's what makes this even more potentially damaging for the Government.
     
  17. arkitect thread starter macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #17
    Exactly…
    I know it is easy to get paranoid, but what else is going on? :confused:
     
  18. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #18
    Good call. No point appealing to voters in "Middle England" when you've just made their children vulnerable. That doesn't play too well in the suburbs.
    I don't think it's anything suspicious. Every auditor I've come across requests a sample of information to check data integrity and handling processes. I've never known one to request the entire database though. If they did and it was simply provided, that's an audit failure in itself.
     
  19. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #19
    I'm also affected by this as my partner gets child benefit for our daughter.

    The National Audit Office NEVER asked for this info! But it was sent to them THREE TIMES!

    First time was in March 2007. NAO said no thanks, and sent it back. Second time was Oct 8th, it never arrived. Third time was a couple of weeks ago, sent via registered post. All three were via post (TNT) on CD.

    The minister, Darling, has said that the info should have never been sent in the first place.

    More. Population of UK is about 55 million. 25 million people is 1/2. Both figures include 7 million children, but at a guess, people with children are more likely to vote, as they feel a greater involvement with society. So I think it's more like half of all voters.

    This is the data of everyone with a child, possibly including historical records, everyone who is involved with CSA, including ex-wives and ex-husbands.

    Darling said the info can't be used to break into a bank account. Oh yeah, so lets see him reveal his own NI number, birth date, mother's maiden name, family addresses, account numbers etc. Guess we'll have to wait a long time for that, but it would be a fitting punishment.
     
  20. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #20
    Twunts.

    :rolleyes:



    I'm rather glad I don't have kids yet.
     
  21. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

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    #21
    I hope Skunk is right and this kills the ID card. My gf is English and whenever we go visit her family I can't believe how unwelcoming England is - 5 million CCTV cameras - it's really oppressive. We're always pulled over by UK customs and scrutinised - cameras on the reg of the car, on our faces - sometimes machine guns. When we come back to France, no cameras, no customs, drive straight out of the port and onto the open road - I breathe a sigh of relief. If we had the extra burden of DNA, iris scanning or fingerprints I'd never go to England again.
     
  22. Cloudane macrumors 65816

    Cloudane

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    #22
    An incompetent public service? Especially with IT? In the UK? Neverrrrr :rolleyes:

    This is one very good reason why all this Big Brother behaviour (ID cards etc) is a very bad idea. Whoever designs these IT systems (a "system" in this formal context usually includes the procedures and processes for running it) is an absolute clown.

    Doubleplusbad.
     
  23. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

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    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #23
    My parents will be on those lost as well, still claiming for me little sister.

    I understand this is damaging, but can a thief just wander in a bank and withdraw everything? Or transfer online, or something like that? My understanding is that it'd have to be much more astute, no?
     
  24. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #24
    That data is enough to take out a mobile phone contract, pass a credit check, then walk out with a handset that you've not paid for. Or any other form of electrical goods where credit terms are offered and delivery is not required. Computers for instance.

    And thanks for the extra info Red Tomato. At least it looks as if the incompetence here is limited to HMRC and the Treasury, not that it brings much comfort.
     
  25. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #25
    You'll have to explain that one to me.
     

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