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 Data Protection

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PostSubject: Data Protection   Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:24 pm

Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad In the middle of posting a lah-di-da post over on the Dessert Thread just now, I got a call from a v good friend telling me of a letter she received from her local Health Trust this weekend. Expect to read about it in the media cos she is seriously gonna hit the Guardian, LBC, local press, whoever else will listen in the next couple of days.

Shouldn\'t really be surprised I guess, as it apparently happens all the time now, in the UK anyway if not in Ireland. As usual, apologies if I am posting completely extraneous to the rest of you guys. I post - yes to relieve some frustration - but also to alert you as to how easily and often this kind of *siucra* goes on.

Anyway, the official letter basically goes \"oops, really sorry, but all of your personal details, plus those of your nominated next-of-kin, were on a disc, which I swear to God was locked away safely but, somehow, said disc was stolen back in January. We contacted the Met Police immediately, of course, but ... well, anyway, just to tell you that all your personal details and those of your parents have been stolen ...we\'re really sorry, we\'ve put new rules in place to avoid it happening again (even though we were sure we had already done everything possible) ... really really sorry...\"

Apparently this letter has been sent to 45,000 patients of this local Trust (like a local Health Board), add in the next-of-kin you\'re talking about up to 90,000 people in South London who might have been affected by this. This is happening all the time here.
The MOD admitted the other day that they have lost or had stolen about 650+ laptops with sensitive info in the last year or so.

I will be seriously interested to investigate in the next few days what come-back, if any, my friend has. Presumably none, I mean, the info is out there, whether just stupidly lost/misplaced or stolen for nefarious purposes.

Does the Irish govt. handle IT projects / contracts any better than the British govt has done? I know that, in my last 10 yrs here in the UK, govt and IT are two concepts that just don\'t go together. Private companies promise the earth, get a huge wadge of money up front and then don\'t deliver. Witness the fiasco with the exam results over here at the moment.

Anyway, how safe are your personal details, do you think?


Last edited by Atticus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Data Protection   Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:33 pm

Happens all the time here. They found a load of medical and bank records in a local rubbish tip last month. Blood records of every blood donor in the country are floating about a laptop in New York.

Data about you is not very secure. I do wonder to what extent alot of the information lost can actually be used abusively though - would be interested to know.
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PostSubject: Re: Data Protection   Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:41 pm

Being a donor, I got the 'we've lost all your details' letter from the Blood Bank and was so impressed with it, I phoned them to thank them for their prompt action, their security measures and their honesty. My details are out there, but encrypted so well - I wish I'd kept the letter - that no one can find them. They did a far better job than the banks - who arguably are holding far more sensitive material of all kinds.

Many people don't care much about their personal data and throw bank statements, bills and all kinds of personal material into their bin bags - and then don't worry about how they are disposed of.
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PostSubject: Re: Data Protection   Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:59 am

There's a thread here somewhere on the stolen laptops with the data on them - from Ulster Bank or BOI or somewhere..

I question how useful it would be unless pps numbers could be used for scammy purposes or insurance companies could get your details of what kind of medication you've been throwing on your credit card - if that information was lost - or advertising companies could get an idea of how to hit you for all your worth because of consumer weaknesses you possess.

Or worse, massive corporations have even more information on potential victims of consumer Affluenza .. I'll have a scan for the other thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Data Protection   Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:48 am

What about the basic privacy issue? It's not only about who can misuse the information.
I really don't like providing any kind of personal information to anyone and try to avoid any kind of institution or business that requests such information.
I had some trouble with my xbox recently and Microsoft said they wouldn't give me any help over the phone unless I gave them my name and address and email.
I told them they could feck off
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PostSubject: Re: Data Protection   Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:37 pm

AfricanDave wrote:
What about the basic privacy issue? It's not only about who can misuse the information.
I really don't like providing any kind of personal information to anyone and try to avoid any kind of institution or business that requests such information.
I had some trouble with my xbox recently and Microsoft said they wouldn't give me any help over the phone unless I gave them my name and address and email.
I told them they could feck off

AIB Visa won't help me over the phone unless I give them the name of my dog and the "security" number on the back of the card...
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PostSubject: Re: Data Protection   Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:51 pm

AIB do ask a lot of questions over the phone - but the whole point of that is to protect your privacy - they don't care what the name of your dog is, once you give the same answer every time.

Certainly personal information and privacy have been devalued with the advent of sites like Bebo and Facebook. I joined bebo years and years ago when it was just starting out here - and then I left because I wasn't comfortable with the level of personal information required to keep it going. It's not the same at all as being on an anonymous site and posting your weeds, your music and dessert tastes and political inclinations.

Your example above, African Dave, shows how unnecessary some of these requests can be - unless you have a guarantee, there's no need for that.
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