.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lost in the post

All media are leading today on the startling and difficult to believe news of the Government losing 25 million personal records in the post.

The Guardian describes the error as a fundamental breach of faith and says that it opens up the threat of mass identity fraud and theft from personal bank accounts. The Telegraph says that Chancellor, Alistair Darling is fighting for his job, whilst The Times describes the incident as a catastrophic breach of personal security.

There is a general feeling that this failure could be Labour's Black Wednesday, the day on 16 September 1992 when the Conservatives were forced to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and wrecked their reputation for economic competence. Certainly, it is the case that the combination of this and the Northern Rock disaster is creating the impression of an accident-prone government and one whose judgement is suspect.

I watched the report on Newsnight last night and was very struck by the comments of the computer security expert. He argued that the current policy of the government of amassing huge amounts of data in one place and allowing wide spread access to it by thousands of employees is a disaster waiting to happen.

The Revenue and Customs incident has shown that the government cannot be trusted to handle our personal data on a large scale, but it is the security expert's argument that in my view that will finally sound the death knell for the National ID database and ID cards. That is because he has demonstrated that no matter how robust the system the sheer size of the database and its accessibility means that the information held on it will be constantly at risk. Surely the government now needs to pull back from this ill-conceived policy.


Can we take the government to the Small Claims Court ?
Three things have occurred in about as many days which convince me that the Labour govt is finished: Northern Rock (how much of our money have they gambled? £40bn??); the govt opposing the EU's plans to cut taxpayer funded subsidies to the very wealthiest landowners (the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke of Bedford et al could probably manage without these subsidies...), and now this debacle with half the country's private data, not least because it clearly shows that their 'ID cards flagship' will be only yet another expensive, pointless failure.

They're finished, but Brown'll carry on to the last minute, I've no doubt, which'll just make it all SO much worse in the end ...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?