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Norway's tax office has accidentally sent the 2006 tax records of 4 million citizens to the national press, TV and radio stations.
Now how do you "accidentally" send data CDs to all the national media?
I think HMRC could learn a lesson to two from Norway...
As you said crosstrainer it does seem to be universal.
But in a strange sort of way it is rather comforting as at least to shows that we are not the only country with this problem.
and the reason is that government departments - just like commercial organisations - are run by human beings, and human beings make mistakes.
They make them constantly, and repeatedly, and they make mistakes that seem quite incredibly stupid when you look at them with the benefit of hindsight, and when you don't know the full set of circumstances involved.
That's why the people responsible for data security should approach the situation with human nature in mind - security systems must allow for the fact that people will be careless, will neglect to follow clear instructions, and will often believe that they know better than the people who make the rules. Occasionally someone will act out of spite - perhaps because he or she didn't get a decent salary increase, or a reserved spot in the company car-park, or the boss failed to acknowledge a good piece of work - the list goes on.
Data security policies have to be designed to cope with all that and come through unscathed, and it's a complete nightmare - I know, because I'm often asked to advise on corporate data security. It can be done, but it means making it very difficult for some people to do their work, and that creates a whole new set of problems.
of mine has just mentioned to me that Whtttington Hospital North Lindon has lost several discs last week containing names and National insutrance numbers. The Trust wote him a letter, i read it but im dumb founded as to the inaccurancies int eh letter he received.
The leter states that the discs were meant ot be sent by couriour, they wernt they were sent normal Royal Mail post. It go's on to say the discs should off been sent reorded delivery again. The setter goes ont o be aware of what is going on in hs bank account and to get a credit report. Apparently the discs were mesnt ot be sent of to audit place, and according tot the trust no one nows were its, the police have been informed, searches at Royal mails and the place of destination havent found the discs.
Now my friend is cvery very worried, that the NHS is really bad at keeping data. This week and nest week the tust has set asside days where staff can bring their queries. The discs were went missing from PYROLL And Human resources at Whittington Hospital
You can introduce all the checks and balances you like; I have had to write lots of safety rules, but the one rule to bear in mind is "You cannot legislate against stupidity"!
Back in the 70's we had removable hard drives which had to be loaded before proccessing could begin on the data the hard drives contained.
Backup was made on a second hard drive which was taken to a different location.
These hard drives where bigger then than some PC Towers so you could not lose them. If they were transported anywhere they were taken by employees of the company and collected by the same method.
This lack of portability made the data more secure
in some ways. We had one stolen from a car boot but it was useless because it was coded data and unusable as a result. The Copy/ies were available and secure for continuing use.
Modern data recording media has become too small scale and so easily lost or stolen. It can hide under paperwork on an untidy desk and is readable on any system because the people who use the media do not understand how to protect it.
Being able to fit Millions of Records into a tiny space has created something like Needles in Haystacks. Lose one and it' gone forever.
Personal files containing our records of Bank/Tax/address and health information need to be kept in a media that does not fit in your pocket or briefcase. Will not load into a Laptop to be lost or stolen. We should think again.
It is proving to be the form the media is stored that is the problem. The loss is a result of the ease with which it transported. POP IT IN THE POST? Leave it on a seat in a train. Lose it in an office down a settee back?
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