UK Data Protection Rules: Too Sensitive to Share

Top-Secret.gif The Guardian newspaper is reporting today that there is an official HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) manual describing official, strict instructions on how to share confidential information with other government departments. Unfortunately, the information contained within the manual was thought to be too sensitive to share will the staff at HMRC so instead only a few senior civil servants had access to it.

As you may recall, when the loss of the data was first announced by the UK government, it blamed junior civil servants for not following the rules. Now it appears the junior staff are not trusted with knowing what the rules are, but they will be help liable if they violate them. Sounds a little Kafkaesque.

The Guardian also reports that it has cost £2m in postage alone to send letters warning those whose data was lost that they should consider changing their bank passwords and pin numbers to prevent fraud.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City