Critical Data Loss – “Terror” Files

In the latest case of data loss ( 11th June 2008 ) the UK goverment has now lost (and recovered) a “terror file”, relating to Al Queda. The file was left on a train in Surrey and has since been handed into the BBC.

This data, which is extremely confidential, was taken home, unsecured and then left on the train. With this in mind, the HM Customs losing 25 Million records, the NHS losing millions more, how can the government be trusted to obtained, and retain, more and more data on individuals.

The Cabinet Office has suspended the civil servant at the centre of an inquiry into the loss of top-secret documents on al-Qaeda and Iraq.

The unnamed Cabinet Office employee was questioned in an internal inquiry after the sensitive papers were left on the seat of a commuter train.

A fellow passenger spotted the envelope containing the files and gave it to the BBC, who handed them to the police.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith now faces demands for an official inquiry.

Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the powerful Home Affairs select committee told the BBC: “Such confidential documents should be locked away… they should not be read on trains.

“I will be writing to the Home Secretary to establish an inquiry into the affair.”

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Posted in Data Loss. Tags: . 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Critical Data Loss – “Terror” Files”

  1. Data Protection Act - 12 month Sentace « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] incident a long with cases of lost documents, rogue CCTV operators, and lost records, shows that the government has very few effective safe […]

  2. Data Protection Act - 12 month Sentance « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] incident a long with cases of lost documents, rogue CCTV operators, and lost records, shows that the government has very few effective safe […]

  3. Data Not Lost: Medical Data « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] data was being transferred by a secure tracker courier (TNT) – rather than being left on a train – and was on an encrypted hard drive. Data has to be moved, what more can you ask […]

  4. Data Loss: MoD « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] been two more cases of data loss, due to a lack of encryption. The first is the loss of a “terror file“, the second is the loss of another […]

  5. Data Loss: Police - Bob Quick « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] is not a new thing. The goverment loses data all of the time, and last year a civil servant left an entire dossier on the train; other MPs have allowed simialr photographs to occur. Despite this huge history of events no […]


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