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25m peoples’ bank details lost in the post…


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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 1,228th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics, Technology.

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd December 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd November 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th October 2018)

The intelligence question and conspiracy theories (published 13th July 2005)

News (published 9th March 2005)

Ebooks have changed nothing (published 2nd May 2014)

Belle de Jour (published 3rd January 2005)

Comments and responses

Comment from Jonathan Rothwell

by Jonathan Rothwell

Comment posted at 22:38 on 20th November 2007.

Is it fair to blame the government, though? The problem appears to lie with HMRC, and whose stupid idea it was to send the entire database dump just through a private courier.

So, it wasn’t the government who cocked up, but HMRC.

It’s certainly not an excuse for the Tories to use in the Commons.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 16:58 on 21st November 2007.

Yes, it is fair to blame the government.

Error after error – including ones very similar to this – have happened repeatedly at HMRC, and whilst the organisation itself is separate from Government, it is overseen by the Treasury.

The Treasury failed to intervene in any meaningful way when the earlier errors were made – the sort of think I’d have thought that ‘overseeing’ the organisation would involve – and now they’ve been caught out.

To say that the Government can’t be criticised for this is like saying it can’t be criticised for any aspect of policy implementation, as none of this is done by Government itself.

It’s like saying that the Government can’t be blamed for the MMC Computer Problems because the software was designed by Methods Consulting, which is separate from government. Or that it can be blamed for falling conviction rates because the Police are separate from Government. Or that Tesco can’t be held responsible for sour milk because the dairies are a separate organisation.

These organisations are acting on behalf of the Government, and so the Government is ultimately responsible for their action.

Trackback from elsewhere on the site

Trackback received at 22:40 on 26th November 2007.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Brown struggles to be heard

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Trackback received at 10:52 on 6th January 2008.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Useless computers cost £2bn

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Trackback received at 16:05 on 7th January 2008.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Jeremy Clarkson: Idiot

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Trackback received at 22:24 on 20th May 2008.

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Barnhard Blog » Blog Archive » Data Retention

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