How Safe Is Your Data?

Saturday, October 10, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Public Sector, Scams & Spams

Obviously, you can take all the precautions you want over how you look after your personal data: keep your firewall and anti-virus up to date, don’t respond to phishing emails, don’t install software of dubious provenance on your computer and so on, but that’s only protecting the data at your end. What happens when it gets passed over to the organisations you are dealing with?

Well, Ian Cuddy of PSF has been compiling a Public Sector Data Breach log showing data breaches in the public sector only (and this is of course not counting the private sector breaches).

Ian has kindly given me permission to republish some of this information here for those of you who aren’t PSF subscribers, and it’s quite shocking reading. In this calendar year, and going only up to the end of September, he’s so far recorded around two hundred and fifty breaches. Two hundred and fifty! At least when everyone dealt with paper records they would only send out one record incorrectly at a time…

So here’s some of the highlights: I’ve selected only one item per month:

It would appear that the only way to keep your data safe is of course not to have any. Anyone who has access to personal data needs to take particular care not only not to disclose it ‘by mistake’ but also to keep it secure. Whether we need heavier penalties for those who expose someone else’s data either by act or omission may be something that needs to be looked at.

We need to be clearer as regards data protection: organisations must not collect any data they don’t need; they must dispose of that data when appropriate, and they must keep it secure until then. If they fail to do so, then I would suggest not only must they notify everyone who has had their details exposed, but they must also be prepared to stump up any transfer costs (whether financial, or time-compensation) for anyone who decides that they want a different bank account…

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3 Comments to How Safe Is Your Data?

  1. paul canning says:

    October 11th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    PSF knows I think this: it’s a great shame that this log is effectively being kept behind a wall, accessible only to the likes of us.

    It can’t be used by campaigners so I’m left wondering how it is useful.

    Just sayin’.

  2. says:

    August 30th, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Love Can Change Your Business…

    …When you are aware when working at your projects you can be a lot more successful than if you don’t have much skills…..

  3. Fats says:

    October 5th, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Surprisingly well-written and ifnomartvie for a free online article.

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