Tuesday 20 November 2007

Who do you trust?

The Inland Revenue have lost two disks with financial information about 7.5 million families - 25 million people. That's 40% of the UK's population.

They contain the "name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details" of every family in the UK that claims child benefit.

Lost in the post, on the way to the National Audit Office, who "audit the accounts of all central government departments and agencies…, and report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which they have used public money."

They were using what they call the "internal post" - a function that they've outsourced to private couriers TNT. Were they the lowest bidder for the contract? That's great value, eh?

I digress. My real point is that this is the same government that want to put all your key data onto a central database to back the national ID card scheme. All these organisations might want to verify your ID. Every time they do, their request will be logged against your name. Some day, a criminal organisation, or a dishonest person in an trusted organisation, will get access to this database.

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