On Monday the police will call of the search for the two unecrypted CDs containing sensitive information on 25 million people that HMRC lost at the end of November, according to the Financial Times.
After all, the personal details of all the people claiming and receiving Child Benefits (half of the country), and their bank account information, well, they're not very important really, are they? I'm really not surprised the hunt will be called off. Not a moment too soon, I say.
No, the police shouldn't be making every effort to trace that data. TNT should also stop looking for it, and HMRC should be exonerated. The discs are password protected, and we all know how stong passwords are as a form of authentication! They can't be cracked in a matter of seconds using freely available password crackers, oh no!
While we're at it, we should stop looking to blame the poor tax mandarins at the top, and the government ministers who put in place the current government data sharing regime, for what is admittedly a very minor incident. After all, 25 million people isn't very many, is it?I'm sure that that evil, vile junior member of staff is completely to blame for the systemic mismanagement of our data and the breakdown of government-wide processes, and that they were acting completely on their own initiative.
But seriously, what on earth are the police and the government playing at? Call off the search -- are they insane?