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Taximom
11-21-2007, 03:57 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/world/europe/22data.html?hp

Data Leak in Britain Affects 25 Million
November 22, 2007
Data Leak in Britain Affects 25 Million
By ERIC PFANNER (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ERIC PFANNER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ERIC PFANNER&inline=nyt-per)
LONDON, Nov. 21 — Prime Minister Gordon Brown (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/gordon_brown/index.html?inline=nyt-per) of Britain (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/unitedkingdom/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) apologized today for a security breach that resulted in the loss of disks containing copies of millions of Britons’ bank account details and other personal data and that has raised the specter of financial fraud on an enormous scale.
Security experts described it as the largest incident of its kind in Europe, though there have been larger data leaks in the United States.
The British data went astray when two computer disks from the tax authorities were lost last month. The disks contained information on 25 million people — nearly half the British population — from families that receive a government financial benefit for children.
The information included details like names, addresses and national insurance numbers — the British equivalent of Social Security numbers — as well as similar information on almost every child under 16 in Britain. The disks were sent using a private parcel delivery firm, and were apparently protected by a password but were not encrypted. (more at link)