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25m peoples’ bank details lost in the post…

They’ve lost half the country’s bank details, can’t keep track of our cars, publish doctors’ intimate personal details online, drop customs documents in the street, misplace laptops with personal data on them, and don’t even bother with passwords on their computers.

They lost this most recent data by sending it on couriered CD-Roms, which is certainly against policy, and possibly illegal. It’s also the way they lost Standard Life and another banks’ customer details earlier this month, and UBS’s customer details in 2005.

Of course, we already know that Government can’t learn from mistakes, since they rehired the company behind the ‘not fit for purpose’ MTAS computer system.

Now they want us to trust them with our health records and even our identities.

Is this Government serious?

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics, Technology.

Dixons rises from the ashes

PC WorldYou may remember Dixons, the highstreet electrical retailer that was absurdly rebranded as Currys.digital (their pointless dot and italics, not mine).

You may also remember its wonderful press department which secured it regular free advertising via the national media, by putting out stories about items which it would no longer stock. As I detailed in a post with a remarkably prescient title, it received national coverage when it stopped selling analogue radios, 35mm cameras, video recorders, and the computer game Manhunt.

These stories each generated acres of positive press coverage about the futuristic and ‘ahead of the curve’ style of Dixons, for virtually no cost to the company itself. Now that’s good PR – It wouldn’t make sense to sack people like that just because a brand is disappearing.

And, indeed, it appears that the PRs’ jobs were safe – the Dixons press department appears to have shifted across to a different part of the same group of companies. Earlier this year, PC World received much coverage for its decision to stop selling floppy disks – possibly a little too ahead of the curve, given that 700,000,000 of the things are still sold each year.

And on this morning’s commute, I note yet more press coverage, since PC World have decided to stop stocking CRT monitors. Again, possibly too ahead of the curve, given that CRTs are still preferred by many graphics professionals.

How many times can national media outlets be conned into printing an almost identical story, which is effectively an advert for the same group of companies? Six at least, it would appear.

If that isn’t a depressing commentary on journalism today, then I’m not sure what is.

This post was filed under: Media.

The world’s most honest advert?

I note that Vicks are currently running a TV ad with the strapline:

We start with solutions, not problems

Is this a pharmaceutical company admitting that they invent dubious syndromes to fit their drugs? They say that honesty is the best policy, but claiming that their products may form the solution to a non-existent problem might prove to be a little too honest.

This post was filed under: Health, Media.




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