Technorati Tags: identity
I’m not panicing, of course. For one thing, the government has set up helpline (0845 302 1444). Phew! For another, any dedicated identity fraudster desperate to get hold of Child Benefit Records would have done so already and the chances of them having been stolen by opportunistic identity thieves is (to my mind) slim. If I were a betting man, which I’m not, I’d bet that the missing CDs are down the back of the metaphorical sofa somewhere. This is not to minimise the issue: personal details shouldn’t be being passed around in the clear. But the chances of anyone being a victim of identity theft because of this kind of data breach (if it was a data breach), frankly negligible. The biggest victim, in my opinion, will be the UK’s national identity card that is just about to go to procurement: I imagine their press office will be busy today.
Some background for our foreign visitors: for reasons not entirely clear to me, the British government sends you cash every week if you have children. This is called Child Benefit. In order to waste as much money as possible, instead of simply raising the tax threshold for me and my good lady wife, the government takes the money away from me each month and then sends most of it back to my bank account via the Child Benefit Agency, which is part of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. It was a junior person at the Agency who took all of the records, put them on two CDs and posted them to oblivion.
These opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]