MoD admits losing nearly 2m recruits' details

One million more than first thought...

One million more than first thought...

The MoD has revealed a lost hard drive may contain details on almost two million individuals - one million more than first thought.

Minister for the Armed Forces, Bob Ainsworth, told parliament yesterday an MoD portable hard disk lost by contractor EDS may contain the details of up to 1.7 million people on the TAFMIS (training administration and financial management information system) recruitment system, who had enquired about joining the armed forces.

He said the data breach had happened in part as a result of work to overhaul information handling in the MoD, following the Cabinet Office data handling review and Sir Edmund Burton's review - which was introduced after the ministry lost the personal details of more than 600,000 people on a laptop earlier this year.

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Initial reports about this month's hard disk loss indicate it contains sensitive information relating to 100,000 armed forces personnel and 600,000 potential recruits.

Ainsworth told the house in a written statement: "This process of departmental improvement will continue to root out and expose areas where shortcomings need to be tackled."

He confirmed EDS is required to protect all data in its care under the terms of its contract.

The disk in question was being held at a secure location on EDS premises in Hampshire when it went missing on 8 October.