Careful readers – or even causal readers – will know I’m not really convinced by the super-max nanny state arguments of western governments about state security issues. Well, if you had pause for concern about the integration of government information systems as they relate to personal public information, check out this nice little headline from the UK (a big fan of centralisation):

Lost in mail: data of 25m people
wo compact discs containing bank details and addresses of 9.5 million parents and the names, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers of all 15.5 million children in the country went missing after a junior Revenue and Customs employee put them in the post.
If you thought that the UK’s welfare smartcard implementation was an example of poor public administration, this has got to vie for the top spot.

While its being presented here are an act of gross incompetence, the ability for so much data to be extracted and duplicated by a junior employee has to be give rise to questions of management competence in terms of the development, implementation and oversight of their data security and privacy policies.

The best thing that could happen for the UK government is that the disks never turn up, hopefully Brown’s government will be big enough for a real investigation of the underlying problems here, rather than simply pinning it on a junior bureaucrat.thumbnail image

This one’s worth watching.

The Security State

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