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Driving Standards Agency overhauls security

Following last year's loss of three million learner-driver details, the government has revealed a wide-ranging reform of information-protection procedures
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Written by Nick Heath, Contributing Writer on

Data security at the Driving Standards Agency has been overhauled following the loss of three million learner driver-details last year.

The government revealed the wide-ranging reform of information-protection procedures that have been brought in to prevent a repeat of the loss of a hard disc by US contractor Pearson Driving Assessments in May last year.

Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick unveiled the data-security changes at the DSA in a written answer to Parliament in response to a question by Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik.

These changes include bulk transfers of data being secured using point-to-point delivery or secure courier, all staff being drilled on the latest security procedures, back-up DSA data being transferred electronically rather than on hard disc and more CCTV and reduced staff access at Pearson's US offices.

He said a review of all transfers of data by the agency was due to be completed shortly and that a data-protection audit covering assessment of all Pearson's data handling and storage procedures was also taking place.

Recent reports of data losses include the loss of three laptops by the Ministry of Defence containing personal details of 600,000 recruits, the NHS losing hundreds of thousands of patients' records, and HMRC's loss of 25 million child benefit recipients' details.

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