NO NO NO!

Whatever is left of the government’s reputation for protecting data took another hit today as news broke that a memory stick, containing the usernames and passwords for a key government IT system, has been found in a pub carpark.

From The Guardian ::

The Mail on Sunday said ministers had ordered the emergency shutdown of the Gateway website – which covers anything from tax returns to parking tickets – while experts checked to ensure people’s private details were not compromised.

The loss of the memory stick is another embarrassment for the government in a long series of data mishandling incidents which began with the loss of the entire child benefit database.

Members of the public can register on Gateway to access hundreds of government services including self-assessment tax returns, pension entitlements and child benefits.

The key reason the government proposed the National ID Card scheme in 2005, was to unify the major IT systems (forget counter-terrorism, that’s a red-herring and the cards would do little or nothing to help agents track suspected terrorists). This would mean that if a civil servant were to lose his/her logins, or – heavens forbid – goes rogue, all your data could be harvested.

NO2ID - Stop ID cards and the database state

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