Those Computer Discs

This fairly boggles the mind:

Junior civil servants dealing with the records of 25 million child benefit claimants were not given the official instructions on how to share the data with the rest of Whitehall, the Guardian has learned.

A manual which laid down strict rules on how Revenue & Customs should safeguard the information was not widely distributed because it was thought to contain too much sensitive information to be handed out to 90,000 civil servants. Instead, only a few senior civil servants had access.

The data itself is widely available: the information on how you should treat the data is secret?

What can you do with that sort of logic except giggle?

2 thoughts on “Those Computer Discs”

  1. And while we are all giggling, let’s not forget that the initial disc set, lost by the Benefit Agency in mid October, included the new ID and address details of 350 families in witness protection programs. (Cross referenced against their original IDs of course.)

    And the people concerned didn’t find out until after the scandal broke in the press.

  2. What is it about the British that we always do security arse-over-tip? The above report reminds one of the episode when GCHQ invented public key cryptography but kept this “non-secret encryption” secret, ceding the multi-billion dollar cyber security industry to the US, amongst other things.

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