Monday, 24 December 2007

Data Loss deja vu

I’m feeling a sense of déjà vu with this weeks data loss storey, I can’t imagine why. Again a government department has lost thousands of personal records and denies that it’s a problem. If they were to loose their personal records, I imagine they would then see why people are so concerned.

The NHS can be trusted to handle patient records despite the loss of thousands of personal details, the boss of the health service says. But NHS chief executive David Nicholson said the losses were taken seriously and the new e-records system would be more secure than internet banking! This contrasts to storeys of health workers exchanging private health information for their own amusement. The fact that its possible for unauthorised people to access these records is frightening, just imagine employers or insurance companies being able to see such confidential information.
This time eight trusts are reported to have lost 168,000 patient details in total. The losses emerged through checks ordered after the loss of 25m child benefit claimants' details in November.

The Department of Health confirmed that one of the breaches involved the clinical details of 160,000 children by City and Hackney Primary Care Trust, after a computer disc failed to arrive at its destination at St Leonard's Hospital in east London. It also said an additional 8,000 patients may have been affected but only a small proportion involved some clinical data. A spinning spokesman added: "There is no evidence that this has fallen into the wrong hands." The other trusts involved are Bolton Royal Hospital, Sutton and Merton PCT, Mid-Essex Care Trust, and Norfolk and Norwich. Perhaps they can be called miss'trusts' now?

A week ago it was revealed the details of three million learner drivers had been lost after being sent to the US.

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