A 'horrifying' number numbers of banks, shops and Government departments are
said to be fuelling a £1.7billion a year crime racket by failing to protect
They have been caught dumping customers' details in public waste bins or
leaving personal information for all to see online.
Their actions have prompted 24,000 complaints to privacy watchdogs, who said
the lapses left customers wide open to identity theft.
Information commissioner Richard Thomas said: 'The roll call of banks,
retailers, Government departments, public bodies and other organisations which
have admitted serious security lapses is, frankly, horrifying.'
The warning comes today in the Information Commission Office's annual
report, which shows complaints about breaches of privacy have risen nine per
cent in the past year.
Among those accused of dumping customers' details in bins are NatWest,
Barclays, Nationwide building society and the Post Office.
Orange compromised security by
giving all its call centre staff the same computer log-in.
The Immigration Advisory Service and the Child Support Agency were also
accused, while the Department of Health left junior doctors' job applications
on the Web for at least eight hours.
There is a 'thriving and lucrative' market for illegally obtained personal
information to be used in identity thefts and fraud, which costs an estimated
£1.7billion a year, the commission says.
Mr Thomas added: 'Over the last year we have seen far too many careless and
inexcusable breaches of people's personal information.'
This now raises an important question. Why is the Information Commissioners
Office doing so little about it. ?
Where are the fines, where are the court cases. Why are
companies, government departments and banks not being penalised, heavily or
even closed down as being unfit to handle such key information.
Which makes one wonder whether this is all happening with
the tacit approval of government as part of the bigger lie.
A toothless tiger is only laughed at. The public need the total
protection of personal data by the Information Commissioner, because ID cards
is not the answer.