Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Child Benefit Data Disks

Some comments on the loss of the child benefit data disks ...

There is a glaringly obvious link between cutting civil service jobs and funding, and the civil service cocking up. PCS has commented on this. I'd have thought that the CWU should be pointing out the pitfalls of a government department using a private courier rather than Royal Mail, but there is nothing yet on its website.

I also agree with the chorus of people pointing out that this incident should be the nail in the coffin of ID cards.

There has been a lot of concern about ID theft, and yes, as one of the people whose details are on those disks, I feel a little flustered.

But there is, I think, a greater concern, which I have not heard in the extensive news coverage. There are vulnerable parents and children whose details are on those lost disks - women fleeing violent ex-partners, families who are refugees from oppressive regimes, parents who have been rejected by hostile families or 'elders' who do not approve of their relationships. For many of those kids and their parents, the confidentiality of their addresses and personal details is absolutely essential to their safety. Yet the BBC asks how worried we should be, but considers only the threat to our bank accounts and credit facilities.

Maybe I've missed it. But maybe the politicians are too busy trading insults to even think about the potential victims.

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