Gordon Brown says government cannot ensure data safety
Gordon Brown has made a frank admission that government cannot promise the safety of personal data entrusted by the public.
Hopefully this ‘frank admission’ is the precursor to the complete rollback of all the doomed IT / ID projects this insane government has embarked and wasted money on.
The Prime Minister was speaking hours after it emerged that a memory stick containing the passwords to a government website used submit online tax returns had been lost.
Speaking on the second day of his trip to the Gulf, the Prime Minister said it was caused by "mistakes" which were “human”.
It is a human error when the wrong medicine or too much of the right medicine is injected in a hospital. When this happens, people are compensated via lawsuits. There is an avenue of redress.
When data leaks happen, there is nothing the government offers, other than ‘sorry it was not our fault’.
He also sought to clear government officials of blame, stressing that a private company – Atos Origin, a computer management firm – had accepted responsibility for the loss.
The Department for Work and Pensions was forced to shut down the Gateway service, which is used by consumers to pay parking tickets and fill in tax returns after the data, on a memory stick found outside a pub.
The loss by Atos Origin, which won a five-year £46.7million contract to manage the Government Gateway in 2006, was reported to the Government last week. The memory stick was found outside the Orbital Pub in Cannock and handed in to a Sunday newspaper.
We have heard all this before. What happened to the memory stick BEFORE it was turned over to the newspaper. Who has a copy of it? Was it encrypted so that whoever picked it up could not read it?
Mr Brown said this was completely unacceptable, and warned that the company would be punished.
They could terminate the contract for all the good it will do; once the genie is out of the bottle, it is OUT. We have written about this time and time again. No sanction, no punishment, no words can undo the harm that is done by a leak like this. In the case of credit card details and passwords, those can be changed, even if there are millions of numbers to be cancelled and re-issued. If the data however is the fingerprints and DNA of living people, those CANNOT be replaced; that private data escaped represents a violation on unprecedented scales, and as we keep saying, it WILL HAPPEN no matter what precautions you take to protect the systems that hold the information.
Which comes to another point; why on earth do these sensitive computers have USB slots and DVD burners? SURELY after all the leaks and missing discs, all USB ports should be pulled and DVD burners removed. In a networked environment there is no need for those means of moving data….but I digress, and of course, if any of these computers is on the internetz, remote access by bad guys is guaranteed.
“I think that the company responsible has accepted responsibility and it is a private company. I think action will be taken by the Department of Work and Pensions. It’s not acceptable behaviour,” he told ITV News. He said that the company could expect “changes to the contract.”
I think you are a squint eyed, pig faced liar and mass murderer.
I think any action taken by the Department of Work and Pensions will not matter a single bit, you clod.
I think changes to the ATOS contract are a total irrelevance, and insulting as a sanction, even to the most thick person.
I think the jig is up you scum. People are finally waking up to this total insanity, and you are not going to be able to roll out your ID schemes.
The Government has faced repeated embarrassments over lost data, with 277 data breaches reported since 25 million child benefit records went missing nearly a year ago. Only last week James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, was forced to apologise for leaving papers on a train. Mr Brown appeared to accept data loss in future was inevitable.
Data loss in the future is only inevitable if you allow yourself to be put onto these systems. If you allow your fingerprints to be taken, your fingerprints will be released to the public. If you allow your DNA to be taken, your DNA will be released to the public. If you allow your doctor to upload your information to the Spine, your medical records will be released to the public.
Once again, for all those thick morons who trot out the, “we already have credit cards and loyalty cards, so what’s the difference” line, the difference is that if your data is released by a credit card, you can be compensated. The same goes for all of your interactions with private companies, and if any company does not guarantee your privacy, you should shun them, full stop.
Also, the State is not the same as a private corporation with whom you deal willingly. You should already know all of this.
“It is important to recognise we cannot promise that every single item of information will always be safe because mistakes are made by human beings. Mistakes are made in the transportation, if you like in the communication, of information.”
Therefore, it is important to recognise that sensitive information should never be hoarded in centralized databases by compulsion of the State. The State should abandon all IT projects that collect personal data, all data sharing should be stopped, and each citizen should have the right to demand that data on him is deleted should he so wish.
The ContactPoint database listing all 11 million children in Britain should be scrapped immediately in the light of these comments by Gordon Brown.
He has admitted that he cannot keep children safe from paedophiles who would inevitably (by his own admission) gain access to ContactPoint data, making that database nothing more than a catalogue for paedophiles. We have described how this would happen before.
ContactPoint. The database that is:
- ‘too risky’ for the children of the famous
- a catalogue for paedophiles
- impossible to secure, putting all children at risk
- will be leaked in its entirety within months of it going online
MUST BE ABANDONED RIGHT NOW.
Anyone who is for ContactPoint, or any of these insane IT / ID projects simply does not know what they are talking about. All of them should be scrapped. If they are not scrapped, you should do everything you can to stay out of them, starting by refusing to take the ID card.
Government can run perfectly well without any of it, and none of it is of any benefit to the public.