Now the 25 million child benefit records CDs. We cn, if we\’re to be fair, cut them a little slack. This was a once a year operation so we might not expect them to set up a secure information transfer system. I\’m bending over backwards to be fair here, but the cost of installing encryption at both ends, training the requisite number of people to use it and so on….once a year we\’ve got to provide a DISC: ok, not worth it.
Government officials have halted the transfer of personal data of millions of people after admitting they have lost more computer discs.
The loss of information, including national insurance numbers, names, addresses and birth dates, was confirmed in a confidential memo last week from the Local Government Association to councils.
At least 45,000 names and personal details are known to have gone missing from one council, with the DWP admitting last night that more authorities have lost discs.
They contain personal details of five million people who receive council tax benefit and four million who claim housing benefit. The records are then checked against details held by the DWP.
It is a statutory obligation for councils to provide the information every month and any that fails to do so is threatened with grant cuts.
But even that defence, the rarity of the procedure, fails as an explanation here. I don\’t know how may councils there are: 300?400? Each supplying this information each month? Say, just for round numbers, 5,000 information sets a year? Surely that\’s enough to justify a secure data transfer system over the net? FTP or whatever it is that you tecchies call it?