An NHS trust is investigating how one of its hard drives containing confidential information was sold online.
The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust is trying to find out how one of its computers full of confidential medical information was sold on eBay.
Disposal of the trust's computers is carried out under contract to Siemens Medical Solutions, as part of a PFI agreement. Computer Disposals has a subcontract with Siemens to dispose of obsolete IT. All hard drives that leave the trust via this route should undergo data wiping which meets the government's standard of being overwritten three times.
The confidential data was discovered by researchers working on forensic data recovery methods at Glamorgan University. The university's research is sponsored by BT, which purchases 250 hard drives a year from places such as eBay and regional computer fairs. It then passes these to the university which attempts to recover data.
The research is designed to raise awareness in organisations of how easy it is to recover sensitive data when poor data-wiping processes are used.
The trust said that, together with Siemens, it has carried out an internal investigation into the incident and developed recommendations to prevent data from being left on unwanted hard drives.
“Unfortunately an investigation into how this particular hard drive has been openly purchased has not been able to identify the route at this stage, and the trust is continuing with its efforts to identify the source, including the possibility of theft,” the trust said in a statement to GC News on Friday.
The NHS and Siemens are therefore ENABLERS of ID fraud.
When such sensitive data is concerned, there is only one way of disposing of it securely. SMASH THE DISK.
When will government learn that our data is more valuable than the few pounds it is likely to get back from eBay. What will the policy be for disposal of DNA database systems, or the NIR systems?? When will your ID Card and Passport details be sold on eBay ?
NuLab – Destroying Britain from the inside out.