Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Data-Gate: Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Clearly Tory Bloggers are having a lovely time with Data-gate. And who can blame them? A small mistake by a small cog perhaps. But what a systems failure. And my oh my what potential consequences.

Will the Tory Bloggers join me in my sincere wish that data armageddon does not come to pass? No, thought not. Perhaps the data-protection-warriors from No2ID can be serious for just a minute? No. Grinning like the cat that got the cream.

[aside]Rather reminds me of the "anti-war" opposition candidate and his joyful great war dance on the local vigil the day after Bush started Shock and Awe. We never saw the bugger again. But his guilty feet had no rhythm. I distinctly recall that. And he did sashay his wicked way onto the Council.[/aside]

Instead of hoping for a good outcome we have one of the Tory Boy Bloggers hoping that the numpty involved is NOT a small cog. That they might be a medium sized or even a fairly large cog.

Mmmm. It is possible of course. But sticking something in the post does pass a long way down the food chain in most organisations.

Let us sincerely hope that this HMRC numpty acccidentally mis-filed the CDs away somewhere where they will never come to light. Let us sincerely hope we have a raving Trot or Ukipper with a grievance and a streak of practical hoaxery at large? Let us sincerely hope it's a bumbling amnesiac incompetent fibber who never copied the data, never stuck it in an envelope, never posted it in the internal mail. Just told a little white lie when sending it the "second time".

For the moment I can find but one small consolation.

ICT expert and friend of Bloggerheads Grant Schweppes wasn't involved in any way! The whole lot would have been on T'Interweb. And 1234 would very likely have been the password.

STOP PRESS: Wrong again. Late news is reaching us that Grant was visiting HMRC in Newcastle on the day of the data loss and was heard to make the following kind offer:

"Can I put that jiffy bag in the post for you? Nothing important I hope? Half the nation's banking records? Mmmm, oh yes I'll be very careful with that!"


Anonymous said...

Of course we don't want a data armageddon ... that's why many of us oppose ID cards, the database or is it databases that this Government is introducing and the like. The problem is that if you hold vast amounts of data, the chances of your being able to hang on to it is slim - some numpty won't live up to the 'stringent' requirements of the rules or some crook will decide that they can make a quick buck out of the information that you hold.

Chris Paul said...

Seems like it was a 23-year-old. He has now resigned. But it also seems that the sensitive elements of the data set were not required. But someone decided that stripping it out before exporting to disk was too costly.

That is bizarre and not a decision for a numpty.

The expert guy on Newsnight has just given the example of US Veterans records which number 7 million and have massively improved their service.

Let's hope the thing is lost in a warehouse somewhere.

And let's help some lessons have been learned and will be learned in the coming weeks and months.

Hutton is on saying onwards and upwards with iD cards. Which is very disappointing.

Chris Paul said...

"help" ooops ... hope

Anonymous said...

Yet again, the wheels appear to be coming off the explanation by New Labour - the Banking Federation, the head of the NAO and the head of the Public Accounts Committee all getting in on the act!

Chris Paul said...

Splendid! But it would have been much worse under a Michael Howard slash and burn remember ...