We won’t share your data with anyone unless our junior staffers leave it lying around

In view of the UK Government’s latest blunder, which involves the loss of 2 discs containing the personal details for 25 million peoples, I wonder whether there is the potential for a) a class action suit for negligence and b) this to transform privacy policies to allow for junior staffers mislaying your details that are then acquired by others to be an exclusion from liability?


  • National insurance number
  • Name, address and birth date
  • Partner’s details
  • Names, sex and age of children
  • Bank/savings account details

Sadly, in the case of the class action I suppose one might have to prove actual loss but also the Government could simply put up taxes to pay for it.

Clearly the concern is that such information, were it to end up in the wrong hands, could be used for identify fraud purposes.

Makes you wonder how a “junior staffer” has the necessary system permissions/authority to download the entire set of child benefit records onto a disk? And had access to a CD/DVD burner, which most IT departments tend to disable to specific prevent such activities. Was the sloppy use of the postal service the only cock-up or is the bigger story that there open access to such records by staff.

At time of writing, evidently the ability of people to express their view on the BBC web site is a popular feature – being a site moderator tonight probably isn’t the slackest job on the BBC night shift.


Total comments: 5020
Published comments:2738
Rejected comments:54
Moderation queue:2227

Can’t wait for the No.10 petition to start that demands blood! Might rival the fuel tax petition.

On one hand, Gordon Brown must be furious as his Chancellor is forced to apologise twice in two days, the other being the (lost) money pit of Northern Rock. On the other, he must a little smug that he avoided as many calamities on his watch as Chancellor.


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