Monday, January 07, 2008

All your moniez are belong to charity!

There's been a lot of data leakage in the UK lately. The same lot who want us to trust them with a central database linking all of our data and include some irrevocable biometric markers don't seem to understand the Data Protection Act or have the ability to install Gnu Privacy Guard.

As a result, they managed to lose 25 million records containing data that they had been expressly asked not to send in the first place, and furthermore were breaking the law by sending. Whoops! But hey, no worries - no-one is going to lose their job over this, because it's the gubmint, right?

There was a lot of publicity at the time of the initial loss, and many people tried to down-play the severity or possible impact. Possibly one of the funniest quotes would be "Honestly, I've never known such a palaver about nothing" made by Jeremy Clarkson.

Now, I'm not a car genius, so I try not to comment on new cars and their design or manufacturing technique beyond the bits I absolutely know about. In the same vein, I'm pretty sure he's not a security expert or very clueful about identity theft.

Fortunately, someone kindly educated him for us, and now hopefully he'll return the favour by educating some Sun readers (because lord knows, a lot of them need it!)

If you've not clicked the link for whatever reason, I'll explain; after he posted his bank details online, just to prove that he's "...never known such a palaver about nothing", someone setup a direct debit donating £500 to the charity Diabetes UK from his account.

Ok, granted, it would have been a shedload funnier if they'd sent it to Greenpeace, or some charity that campaigns for an end to cars, or better still, anything supported by Ken Livingstone, but as it stands, I'm impressed. I lol'd... honest!

There's a lesson to this story chillen - identity theft is a very real threat and can absolutely ruin your life. Be careful with your old credit and debit receipts, get a block put on your credit report if you can that means you have to provide ID for all loans, etc. and check your bank statements regularly. And don't be a boastful prat in a public newspaper.

At least he was man enough to admit his mistake - I just hope he lets the charity keep the money... call it an educational cost!


  • Actually, the poor administrative officer who sent out the data lost his job. Now call me a mad raving leftie it you like, but I think that when it is the organisation of the institution and its policies that have caused something like this to happen, it is about more than the poor sod who was trying to do his job in difficult circumstances. It should be those who made the policies he was trying to work with that should go. But of course, that would never happen.

    By Blogger Clare, at 12:46 pm  

  • I totally agree on that one! No employee below director level should have even been in a position to _do_ this, so how on earth can they take the fall?

    My main malfunction is with the fact that the data should never have been sent in the first place - it was explicitly requested that it be anonymized, so the lost data wouldn't have mattered at all.

    But the government decided that was too expensive.

    Surely the bloke who got fired should be able to sue for wrongful termination on that basis? They forced him into a position where he HAD to break the DPA. Anyone know how to contact him ?

    By Blogger Anonymouslemming, at 1:08 pm  

  • I will regale you with details, offline!

    By Blogger Clare, at 1:47 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home