Excessive HMRC targets to blame for lost discs

The loss of two discs containing the details of 25 million people was blamed
on the excessive targets imposed on the HM Revenue and Customs, a member of the
House of Lords has said.

The Earl of Erroll, an IT expert believed to be the only Lord to have
programming skills, has said that the scandal occurred ‘because of targets (and)
budgets’ it was reported in

In a recent Infosecurity conference, the UK’s largest gathering of
information security professionals, the Lord explained that it was likely
employees bypassed security procedures in order to meet the targets set.

In light of the HMRC disc scandal, peers yesterday supported ammending the
criminal justice and immigration bill, which would make the careless release or
loss of personal data a criminal offence.

In the HMRC case, information such as bank details, which should have been
stripped from the databases on the discs before being sent to the National Audit
Office, were not carried out because of the extra cost it would have incurred.

Further reading:

data loss blamed on targets

backs amendment to data-loss law

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