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United Kingdom
829 Posts

Posted - 25/06/2008 :  21:08:06  Show Profile Send Robert a Private Message
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The information commissioner is to take action against two government organisations over data-loss incidents.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Richard Thomas said he will take action against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for the loss of 25 million child-benefit claimant details, and against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the loss of laptops containing sensitive military data.

Enforcement notices are to be served following publication of a review by the Independent Police Complaints Commission that blames "systemic failure" for the HMRC loss, and a review, due to be published today by Sir Edmund Burton, of the MoD data loss.

"I will be taking formal enforcement action against HMRC and MoD, following the serious data breaches that have occurred," said Thomas. "The reports... show deplorable failures at both HMRC and MoD."

Thomas added that, while these breaches have been highly publicised, they are not isolated cases, and that even more sensitive data has been lost that has not been made public knowledge.

"It is deeply worrying that many other incidents have been reported, some involving even more sensitive data," said Thomas. "It is of fundamental importance that lessons are learned from these breaches. Information security and other aspects of data protection must be taken a great deal more seriously by those in charge of organisations."

Thomas said that it is "beyond doubt that both departments have breached data-protection requirements" and that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) intends to serve formal enforcement notices on them.

To comply with the terms of the enforcement notices, HMRC and the MoD will have to implement all the recommendations outlined in the reports. The information commissioner will require progress reports to be published after 12, 24 and 36 months, documenting in detail how the recommendations have been implemented to improve data-protection compliance. Failure to comply with an enforcement notice is a criminal offence.

The truth is out there.. GO get it......Non Illigitamus Carborundum

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Alan the Geordie

3032 Posts

Posted - 26/06/2008 :  00:27:06  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
I like it!!

"Dave Anderson (Labour) MP for Blaydon rocks!!"
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Ali M-W

3558 Posts

Posted - 26/06/2008 :  07:36:58  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Interestingly, we have tried alerting this same Information Commissioning Officer to our difficulties in getting our SARN documentation (it taking several months to arrive, ariving in drips and drabs, not turning up at all, turning up with loads of stuff missing, turning up in already-opened jiffy bags, turning up insecurely sent, turning up to the wrong people, our getting others' papers, not being sent to the remaining half of a former couple yet their being stung for repayment, etc., etc.) and they haven't taken any action against HMRC.

I wonder if it is time for another complaint to them? And whether Dave Anderson, our newly-arrived Labour supporter, could back this?

PJ sent the original letter...

Trinity: The answer is out there… and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
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Alan the Geordie

3032 Posts

Posted - 26/06/2008 :  09:54:32  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
<<And whether Dave Anderson, our newly-arrived Labour supporter, could back this?>>

Draft the letter & I'll send it to him!

Shy bairns get nowt!!

"Dave Anderson (Labour) MP for Blaydon rocks!!"
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27 Posts

Posted - 26/06/2008 :  10:12:58  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Wouldn't hold out too much hope re the Information Commissioner getting 'tough' on HMRC.

When it took HMRC 9 months to send our SARN docs (just a little outside the statutory time limit eh?), HMRC lied to IC and made up a date so that it appeared that they had delivered them on time.

IC didn't even dispute the fact that there was an 8 month discrepancy between what we had detailed in our complaint and the lie re date that HMRC came back to them with, just took it as face value that HMRC were telling the truth. Afraid that it seems that IC are perfectly happy to take HMRC comments as gospel as opposed to truth that us peasants might tell them.
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