back to article loses driver ID data

Unencrypted computer discs containing the names and addresses of 6,000 Northern Ireland motorists has gone missing in the post. The material, which was sent from Northern Ireland Driver and Vehicle Agency to the UK's main Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea, is reckoned to gave gone astray in a sorting centre in …


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  1. Dan

    In fashion?

    Is it now de rigeur to confess to massive data losses? "You're not a player unless you've exposed millions of people to id theft risks...'?!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    And this week the government doop de doop de doop de doo...

    and lost doop de doop de doo, confessing doop de doop de dooo

    However, doop de doop de doo and will undergo strict dadoop de doooo but reassures that dooop de dooo dooo ID CARD doop de doo...

  3. Vernon Lloyd

    At least....

    all this makes the users I deal with on a day to day basis appear very computer savvy. to make users remember their passwords.........

    /Pub time

  4. Red Bren
    Paris Hilton

    @ In Fashion

    It's the opening of the floodgates. Probably every major organisation has suffered from some form of confidential data loss but no one wants to be first to hold their hands up. Now that one almighty cock up has been uncovered, everyone else wants to get their mea culpa in while the Information Commisioner and PC Plod are too busy to deal with it. Or am I being too cynical?

    Paris as my icon as that would be one almighty co... you get the idea!

  5. frank denton

    re. In fashion

    It does seem to be 'in fashion', lol. It may be a Christmas post thing or it may be statistical clustering, or it may be truly representative of the rate at which government departments lose confidential data records and have been doing for ages without actually telling us.

    It is de rigeur to confess since if the truth comes out later, they will be additionally berated for a 'cover up'. It's also useful to confess when many others are doing so in order to dilute your 'sin' in the background noise.

    Everybody makes mistakes but any sensible person or organisation learns from their mistakes and also the published mistakes of others and then changes their ways. Not the government it seems. We have been treated to stories like this for ages and guess what...THEY NEVER LEARN !!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Just a thought

    Think voting fraud - With the advent of postal voting, all this could have a great effect on the result of the next general election. And the governments hands would be clean, 'ish.

  7. Kristan


    The child benefit office lost some of my personal documents in their internal mail yesterday! What the heck is going on with this goverment loosing stuff in the post latley.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    techno wha?

    don't get it. there are so many Safe ways to do these things. its the end of an era. smail is out!

  9. Anonymous Coward


    you just cannot believe it can you? this happens after ALL the other data was lost, in exactly the same way... i mean this is just total and utter incompetance... time for a general (data :p) election, before these asshat give us ID cards and lose everyones data...

    so if you have kids in NI - does that mean your data has been leaked twice?

  10. James

    Has no one in government heard of a VPN?

    I'll get my coat.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    And the Gov't....

    ...wants all your personal data for ID cards/Passports/Medical Records etc etc & so on to stick in a nice big, insecure database.

    F**k me. No wonder people are getting a little bit upset about having to cough up all their info to these pillocks. They are operating a data-bucket with a giant hole in it.

    Question is: are they going to be bought to task over this? I fear the answer is "like hell".

    If it was a smallish company or somesuch they'd likely be hammered (banks don't count as they can pretty do much what they feel like it seems).

    Bunch of useless prats.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    "A good day to cover bad news"...

    Now that the HMRC debacle has been exposed, everyone with a similar (but of lesser magnitude) disaster is being encouraged to come forward and admit to their problems.

    Since none of the others are even close to the 25million records lost by the HMRC, no one outside El-Reg really cares.

    I expect a few more these in the run up to Christmas - by the new year, everyone will have forgotten about it and the government will move on to electronically tagging us all with RFID implants with GPS tracking, speech recognition plus clipper chips in our PCs...

    That way we will all be safe...

    Ach, stop complaining, if you've nuffing to hide, you've nuffing to fear - except for the Terrorists, Peadophiles, Immigrants, Osama, Eurasia, Eastasia, newly-invented-boggey-man-of-choice...

  13. leslie

    damn those pesky disks....

    Who gives the dvla authority to send out your data to manufacturers etc so they can tell you your car needs a recall ?

    surely they should just publically make a statement that car model xyz needs to go back to be fixed, not ask the dvla who owns them, and can we have that data please...

    I dont want people to be able to see what car I own, its french.........

  14. jason lee
    Thumb Up

    Re: techno wha?

    I agree with you - I mean I'm only one person who likes to access my documents ect wherever possible - I'm not techno-internet/networking-savy but I know of three little letters.

    VPN - Virtual Private Network.

    If I was to send/recieve something I would do so at least double encrypted - one by VPN and the second via ZIP/RAR format.

    Is Security such a big word for the Government and all others? Or can they spell Post Office quicker?

  15. Niall

    If you got nothing to hide...

    you can thank your government.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    All thats left...

    ... is for a group of car theives to use the data to pretext themselves as owners who have been locked out of their cars, then use the VIN to reproduce the original keys and there you go... 6000 stolen cars. No financial data indeed.

  17. John Mcdonald

    Er, forgive a silly question, but

    Are these muppets, the same muppets that are responsible for UK National Security? ... One word ... Feckers!

  18. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    What next, losing the entire MoD's employment database?

    Oh wait, losing that one would set back organised crime by decades it's so inaccurate...

  19. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Next census...

    ... I don't exist.

    It got lost in the post.

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    Could this actually be a deliberate softening up process so that sheeple will get so used to having their personal data scattered to the four winds that the no longer care when the govenments of the world declare a new database with EVERYTHING even remotely related to you, including ALL you ever wrote or said?

  21. Stephen Hill

    Why not come out of the closet now?

    Why don't we all publish our names, addresses, NI numbers, car details, children's names and bank account details on the web and cut out the middle man. At least the information would be accurate.

    I work as a cleaner but I know how to encrypt data on to CD and send data securely between computers. I get £5.25 an hour - yes that's 3p an hour above national minimum wage.

    I am prepared to share ALL my knowledge with the government for only £7 per hour. I am fairly sure that this is at least £13 per hour less than their current security advisers are charging them.Heck I would do it for free if it gave me peace of mind.

    What a shower.

  22. Chris G


    I'm very, very, glad that I don't live in the ould country anymore and daily, I am becoming more certain that I won't be coming back.

    I am proud of being British and of all the good things in the world that Britain in the past has given the world but the comedians that are running the country now and the ones that want to run the country in the future are enough to keep me living in the sun.

  23. Dale Richards
    Paris Hilton

    @Red Bren

    I would imagine Paris knows a thing or two about the consequences of data leakage already...

  24. Nick

    Underpaid, overworked...

    ... staff who don't care about security - Jo B Sworth in accounts is more interested in what she's gonna get the kids for Crimbo and if she can trust her fella to goto the office party and behave himself, to concern herself with encryption, the DPA and secure couriers. She just wants to send out the requested data to get Mr PARSeons off her back.

    Computers are secure, its users that arn't, and unless Ms Sworth personally loses out, she's not gonna a flying monkey's about protocol. Its upto the IT Teams to set policy and enforce it, but policy tends to be set by the people on high, who have no concept of what security is.

    Mind you, these Spartacus's seem to be coming along like buses at the moment - Three I've read about today.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bunch of useless prats!

    Bunch of useless prats.! Indeed,they keep sending me letters by post dispite being told they don't arrive (one contained a cheque for 450 pounds,gone).I have asked to be contacted by E-mail,but was told it was "time consuming". Not as big a waste of time as 1Write letter 2 Wait for three weeks 3Cancel cheque 4Start again. And they want MORE power!

  26. Richard Scratcher

    This problem is likely to get many times worse in 2008

    I hear that many of these government agencies are getting DVD writers for Christmas.

  27. Stan

    I know what they are at...

    It's the UK's plan to eradicate the data black market. They are flooding it to make the stuff practically valueless.

    Next (not if, next) time this happens can reg put the estimated black market value of the data in the article.


  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Stephen Hill

    National Minimum Wage:

    22 yrs and over = £5.52 per hour

    18-21 yrs and workers in accredited training (for the first 6 months) =£4.60 per hour

    16-17 yrs = £3.40 per hour

    This has been the case since 1st October 2007. So unless you've made a typo, you are being ripped off by your employer.

    You can verify this here

    Good luck getting your money before Christmas.

  29. Gilbert Wham

    @ Chris G... in the sun would be enough to keep me living in the sun. The fact that Mud Island is run by demented assclowns has not, and will never change. It's the damp that really gets to you...

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Data Amnesty Month

    December 2007 has been set aside as "Data Amnesty" month.

    All government departments, large corporations and data storage facilities are encouraged to report data losses, c*ckups and failings.

    Report now - avoid the rush!

  31. Chris

    Forget VPN

    That's far too complicated for a simple Government...

    Lead them in gently with FTP or even.... (avert eyes now if easily offended)

    *S*FTP <gasp>

    Just for the sake of any Gov employee who may be monitoring this, the 'S' stand for 'secure' e.g. more 'secure' than sending via unregistered post unencrypted.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Haven't the government ever heard of SSH? Why can't this data be sent over a secure connection?

  33. Charley
    Black Helicopters

    6,000 NI names and addresses??

    Bidding war between PIRA and the UVF on about now, is there?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is absolutely staggering news

    Northern Ireland has cars???

  35. Slaine

    poetry corner

    There are without the smallest doubt

    two kinds of folks I rants

    there's those who do because they can

    and a government full of can't's

  36. Slaine

    layout suggestion

    I see so many similar threads here these days - almost as if it is a big pre-organised conspiracy to enable some (as-yet undeclared) big-brother-esque activity... the meantime, it might be prudent of El Reg to add a couple of extra tabs so we can all keep these fekups in the same place to look for a pattern emerging...

    ...might I suggest, Hardware Thefts, Softheads, Media Losses, InCompetence, Insecurity, MisManagement, Senseless Beaurocrats and Sods.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RE: Northern Ireland has cars

    Yes it does - the most cars per person in the UK actually due to being quite a rural community and having crappy public transport. Jokes like that are so much less funny when they're completely untrue. Apparently it's mostly Corsa owners though so that's OK

  38. Anonymous Coward


    A lot of these stories come with a "no financial data was lost, so that's OK" disclaimer from whatever government official concerned. Is this a stealth brainwashing campaign to persuade the public that bad people getting hold of your bank details is the only thing to worry about in these cases? If some incompetent muppet were to release into the hands of sundry ne'r-do-wells my home address/names of my kids/car registration number/whatever, somehow the assurance of "don't worry, they haven't got your bank account number" just wouldn't cut it for me!

  39. Slaine

    no financial data...

    ... I think means - no data that would result in a loss of government finances. we plebs can go FCuK ourselves.

    Now then - ID cards - what a BRILLIANT idea. that way organised crime can pool together all those little snippets of information like "car reg", "home address", "mother's maiden name", "inside fekkin leg measurement"...

    I see my spambox now... "Dear <correct name>, your car, registration number <correct number>, and serial number <correct data> has been recalled due to identity fraud. Please take it to <valid garage name> whilst we empty your bank account of <actual balance>.

  40. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    can we have a poetry section?


    'tis the season to loose data - tra la la la lah, lah la la lah

    write some disks; I'll post them later - tra la la la lah, lah la la lah

    where's may laptop? wasn't it there? - tra la lah, tra la lah, lah lah lah

    all those details; now they're laid bare - tra la la la lah, la la lah lah.

  41. Roger Brown

    Not only in the UK

    Hot on the heels of the missing CDs comes news that a courier in Canada has lost medical computer-tapes(!), sent from New Brunswick to Victoria, BC.

    And these people expect us to trust them with National ID cards information?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Hmm stolen servers

    and lost data a lot of it it seems someone is looking to make a nice business for themselves.

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