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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
A Hammer To Crack a Nut
Brian Collins, chief scientific advisor at the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, spoke at a conference recently about last year's Datagate scandal when HMRC lost the personal details of 25 million people.
He said that the loss should have been prevented, and that the system should have flagged up a warning not to transfer such large amounts of personal data onto unencrypted discs.
"The system design should never have allowed the [data loss].
They should be designed to stop people going off the edges of what is acceptable. Why are we not doing this?
Because it costs."
Maybe so, most certainly about cost cutting leading problems wrt security and service levels. However, he ignores the fundamental issue wrt Datagate namely that the data was sent by courier on an unencrypted disc.
No expensive system add on was needed to "flag up" that using couriers and unencrypted discs to transfer sensitive data was just daft. Decent procedures and training should have covered that point.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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