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British Data Loss Brings Reward Offer

It’s proved to be a huge scandal in British government, with more revelations arriving daily. The loss of two CDs containing data on about 25 million people in the UK – almost half the population – has finally sparked the offer of a reward. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is offering £20,000 ($40,000) for the return of the two disks.   This comes after extensive searching by a team including 47 detectives and computer experts which has extended beyond offices and mail depots to landfill sites. HMRC has also appeal to staff to search at work.   The data was copied onto a pair of CDs and sent between offices as regular mail, without even being registered. The data was password-protected but not encrypted. According to the leader of the Liberal Democrats, one of the opposition parties in Parliament, the data could be worth $3 billion on the criminal market.   "The enquiry has been particularly challenging due to how common compact discs are within offices, the number and size of the offices requiring searches and the number of organizations where the package may have traveled through," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement, adding that there has been no evidence to indicate the CDs have ended up in criminal hands.   Just yesterday the acting head of HMRC admitted that there had been a further six security breaches in the last two years.  

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