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Tech

NHS loses thousands of smartcards

Not a week seems to go by at the moment without data loss reports - normally involving public sector bodies.The BBC reports that NHS staff have lost at least 4,147 of the cards, which give access to confidential patient records when inserted into health staff PCs.
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Not a week seems to go by at the moment without data loss reports - normally involving public sector bodies.

The BBC reports that NHS staff have lost at least 4,147 of the cards, which give access to confidential patient records when inserted into health staff PCs.

The NHS insists the risk to patient data is minimal, as the cards are a form of two-factor authentication - you have to enter a six figure PIN to access a terminal.

"Connecting for Health, in charge of NHS computer systems, said 4,147 were unaccounted for - but insisted that they were useless without PIN numbers.

As many as 1.2 million cards will eventually be issued to NHS staff."

I agree with Ross Anderson - people are going to lose and share the cards, and any system that gives access to thousands of people will not keep the data confidential.

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