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The lonesome death of data protection

Bob Dylan knew his protest songs. While I'm aware that the number of people who are a) interested in privacy and security issues, and b) Bob Dylan fans, is probably about two or three, what's been going on with the government and data protection recently led me to rework a Bob Dylan classic.

Bob Dylan knew his protest songs. While I'm aware that the number of people who are a) interested in privacy and security issues, and b) Bob Dylan fans, is probably about two or three, what's been going on with the government and data protection recently led me to rework a Bob Dylan classic. Now, don't get me wrong -- Dylan is a multi-million record selling genius, and I'm an IT security reporter. Also, murder is obviously more serious than data loss. So, with apologies to Dylan and the shade of Hattie Carroll, here's my take on the HMRC fiasco so far:

HMRC killed poor data protection, with two discs that it twirled round its diamond ringed fingers, At a Tyne &Weir office, TNT had lost them, and the cops were called in, and they failed to find them, they called off the bloodhounds and walked from the building

but you who philosophise disgrace, and criticise all fears, take the rag away from your face now ain't the time for your tears.

Alistair Darling outlined the damage, He spoke to the gov'ment most deep and distinguished 25 million personal details, gone without trace, (to be found and then hoarded), bank account info and credit card numbers, on two discs that had only been password protected

Ah but you who philosophise disgrace, and criticise all fears, take the rag away from your face now ain't the time for your tears.

Now the data protection watchdog was summoned and set on the case to review the fiasco and he sat and he pondered, then pointed to Poynter and dressed down the gov'ment, for penalty and penance, but could not give any damaging sentence. A maximum fine of £5000, To be ult'mately swallowed By the taxpayer victims.

ah you who philosophise disgrace, and criticise all fears, bury the rag deep in your face for now is the time for your tears.

I didn't have enough time to write a verse about the government's plans for the National Identity Register, but I think it's fairly obvious that it's a very bad idea indeed.