It’s beginning to seem as if some Brits don’t take the idea of data protection very seriously. There have already been several losses of data this year, and now a memory stick containing data on 10,000 persistent offenders and all 84,000 prisoners in England and Wales has gone missing, the BBC reports.
Even worse, the data on the stick, which was held by the company PA Consulting, not a government agency, was unencrypted. The company informed the government on Monday as had admitted it doesn’t know how the stick went astray.
The information on the prisoners includes dates of birth, home addresses and in some instance their release dates. No more data will go to PA Consulting pending an investigation into the disappearance.
David Smith, Deputy Commissioner in the Information Commissioner’s Office, said:
"It is deeply worrying that after a number of major data losses and the publication of two government reports on high profile breaches of the Data Protection Act, more personal information has been reported lost."
"We expect the Home Office to provide us at the Information Commissioner’s Office with a copy of the [internal investigation] report and its findings. We will then decide what further action may be appropriate. Searching questions must be answered about what safeguards were in place to protect this information."
During 2008, at least until April, personal data on around four million people had been lost by government departments. That follows the high-profile disappearance of two CDS last year containing information on over 25 million British residents.
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