Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Missing - oh, dear!

I see on the news that someone in Britain has lost two disks containing the details of 25 million persons’ private information, stuff that the Government has on storage. I presume that they’ve ‘only’ lost two disks, rather than having lost all the information, which is rather how the news likes to frame it. One assumes that no one would have such an amount of information solely on two disks.

Seemingly the disks were supposed to go somewhere in an internal post system, and managed to sail off into the wide blue yonder. Huge fears that cyber-hackers will get hold of it all and will start making horrendous use of all the info. More likely the disks will be sitting in the Post Office’s address unknown office (in Ireland, I think) and will be dealt with when all the other bits of lost postal items are dealt with. Or else they’ll be received by some decidedly non-hacking type of person - an old age pensioner, for instance – who will take one look at them, decide they’re junk mail, and toss them in the bin.

What reminded me of this news story was noticing that Martin Worldwide, the list brokers, have over 290 million consumers and 14 million U.S. businesses on their system. And that’s just so other people can send them direct marketing info. By contrast, the 25 million names lost in the post seem rather tame.

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