Data Misuse: Passport Office

It has been reported that the IPS, Identity and Passport Service, has dismissed 14 staff over the past three years, i.e one every 12 weeks, in relation to data misuse.

This means that the data guardians in the passport office, those who, quite literally, control the gateway to the country have been caught add fired once every 12 weeks misusing their powers and accessing the passport office database for their open purposes.

Of course the number of people actually doing this, and not caught will be much much higher. Like data loss, the people who are caught is much lower than the people who are caught committing the act.

Burglary detection rates are at less than 10% (in real numbers), and this is with a multiple polices forces, billions spent on fighting crime, dedicated burglary squads all around the country, carefully monitored targets, witnesses, physical evidence, and perhaps most importantly a victim who reports the crime.

In the world of data loss, none of those scenarios exist, the police are not interested in data theft/data loss, there is no physical evidence, no witnesses, and rarely a complainant.

Therefore if 14 people have been caught misusing the database the reality is that the actual number of people who have been misusing the database will be in the hundreds.

Once we have accepted this problem is occurring, why then need to ask, and answer two questions:

Firstly, how do we stop it?

Secondly, and more concerningly, why are people accessing our data?






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