UK Liberty

A farce

Posted in database state by ukliberty on November 28, 2007

Not only have we been told that six more discs are missing – and those are the ones we know aboutthe Times reports today that the Revenue,

sent millions of parents an apology letter containing sensitive personal data.

Anti-fraud experts and police urged people to destroy the letters, which contain each claimants’ name, address, national insurance and child benefit numbers.

Nigel Evans MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Identity Fraud, said that the taxman’s latest error would come like an early Christmas present to conmen.

“A million letters go missing every day; there are households of multiple occupation,” Mr Evans said. “There are people paid to rummage in people’s bins: they will know that information will be lying in the rubbish over the next few days. Fraudsters can sit on the information for some time so people should check their bank accounts carefully.”

Unfortunately, [head of HMRC’s] mass apology has immediately delivered some of that same confidential information straight into the wrong hands. Tina Young, 29, of Seghill, Northumberland, innocently opened one of the letters and found the private details of a woman who had moved away two years ago.

“It’s unbelievable. I’m panicking now because I haven’t had a letter with my own details and who knows where that could be or who’s got it?” she said. “To mess up once is stupid but to do it again is disgusting. I called Revenue & Customs straight away but they were dismissive. I don’t think they’re taking this seriously.”

Revenue & Customs blamed parents for letting the details fall into the wrong hands, saying that claimants should have provided up-to-date addresses.

“People who haven’t told us that they have moved house: their letters are going to the latest postal address that we have for them,” a spokesman said.

“The letter doesn’t include any information that anybody would use unless they were determined to steal your post – and if they were, they would steal your bank material, rather than a letter from Revenue & Customs.”

Er no, they rummage around and steal everything they think is useful, you moron.

What was the purpose behind including these details in the letter?


One Response

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  1. shadowfirebird said, on November 28, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    I have the letter in front of me now — or at least, I have *a* letter, which came from HMRC and arrived yesterday, and starts “I am writing to make a personal apology”.

    There is no sensitive information in it, other than the normal reference numbers that I would expect to find on such a letter: our child benefit number and my wife’s NI number.

    I think perhaps The Times has screwed up.

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