Wednesday, 21 Nov, 2007 Politics

Disk with Personal Data of 25 Million People Lost


The details of almost 25 million people were lost by Britain's tax and customs service after it was found that the disk with the valuable data disappeared in an internal mail service.

The disc, which was sent to a government audit office, contained data of more than 7 million families in Britain - almost the half of Britain's population - claiming child benefit. The information included the names of the recipients and their children, addresses, dates of birth, national insurance numbers, banking details and child benefits numbers. All these records could be used by criminals to make use of the money in the banks.

The sensitive information was missing for three weeks already and no clues has been found yet. The Revenue and Customs official had to send the disk to the National Audit Office(NAO) by the internal mail service. After the NAO reported that they did not receive any data, the copy of the data was send, although the initial mail did not arrive. The Metropilitan Police started the investigation to trace the discs. All the staff was questioned on any evidence but with no success to find the information.

Revenue and Customs is responsible for all the taxes, welfare payments, border checks and other benefits. Seven million families now have to check their bank accounts after the huge error in the history.

Paul Grey, the Revenue and Customs chairman, resigned his post after such serious blunder was revealed.

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