In a rush to cover backsides, and to look contrite, HMRC sent millions of apology letters to those who had their personal details placed at risk as a result of the HMRC disc blunder.
Unfortunately this act of contrition exposed the hapless victims of HMRC incompetence to even greater risk of fraud and id theft:
- The postal system is notoriously open to abuse and theft (over a million letters are lost everyday)
- The apology letters contained the details on the missing discs. Thereby giving the criminals another bite of the apple
- The letters which contain names, National Insurance and child benefit numbers are being delivered to the last known addresses of the recipients.
It doesn't take a genius to realise that some of the millions of people sent these letters may have moved (1 in 10 people move each year). Therefore many of the letters containing these private details are being delivered to the wrong people.
Oh, but that's alright, HMRC are blaming the taxpayers who have moved for not keeping HMRC up to date with their moves
Have the people in HMRC never been trained in the basics of security, fraud and id theft prevention?
Needless to say this latest screw up has brought more problems down on the heads of those claiming to run the HMRC. The Information Commissioner will now investigate this latest security lapse.
The Information Commissioner is now pursuing three inquiries into breaches of confidentiality by HMRC.
It would seem that the people running HMRC, and indeed the government itself, has little clue about the concept of security and id theft; this is the same government that wants to impose a national id card scheme on an unwilling population.
Those who don't receive a letter of apology are being asked to ring an HMRC helpline.
Congratulations to the HMRC for making matters worse and exposing 25 million people to the threat of fraud and id theft twice in two weeks, a double whammy.
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