back to article Job club firm loses thousands of details

A4e, the company that runs League of Gentlemen-style job clubs and administers the Home Office test for would-be citizens, has apologised to 24,000 people whose details were on a laptop stolen from one of its staff. A4e said it had written to 24,000 people in Hull and Leicester to warn them, but it believes the risk of illegal …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    On what grounds do they believe the potential risk is low?

    I wonder if this is being driven by the PR department?

  2. Gareth Morgan
    Thumb Down

    UK citizenship test

    Bizzarre indeed... and plain wrong as well.

    It asked me about who qualified for free prescriptions and offered me four choices. The correct answer, in Wales, is everybody but this is clearly an English citizenship test only.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      UK Citizen test

      It also asks what the mains voltage is in the UK. Strangely, the correct answer, 230V (±10%), was not one of the options!

      As for who qualifies for free prescriptions (or the cost for those who don't), I have no idea because it seems to change each time the wind changes direction.

    2. Jimbo 6

      Plain wrong

      Q3 : How many parliamentary constituencies are there? 464, 564, 646, or 664 ?

      Errr... I'm damn sure it's 650.

      But what do I know, I even got wrong the year women were allowed to divorce their husbands (how have I managed to live in Britain for 42 years without knowing THAT ?)

      I'll get me coat, seeing as I only scored 58%.... (hope the Immigration Service aren't monitoring IP addresses)

      1. Bumpy Cat

        About 3 years old ...

        I took this test myself about two years ago. The questions are current for the book published about three years ago, thus the difference in number of constituencies (and probably the other errors).

  3. David Neil

    Not exactly breaking new ground here, but...

    Why the f#ck was this data on a laptop sitting in someones front room?

  4. JasonH


    "A4e said anyone worried about the loss should make a free call to .."

    Shouldn't that read: "A4e said anyone worried about the lack of encryption on the laptop should ..."?

    One for the ICO to investigate and fine?

  5. Cameron Colley

    So, who is going to prison?

    Please tell me someone is to be jailed for giving out* the personal details of all these people.

    *Having data like this on a laptop goes beyond negligence -- there is no excuse for it and everyone involved with data like this should know that by now or their management should be fired and/or jailed.

  6. Lionel Baden

    oh dear

    where do i hand in my passport and birth certificate Lol !!

  7. Mr Templedene

    It's been asked before

    But I will ask again

    why the hell were personal details stored on a laptop?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      24 THOUSAND !!!

      Apart from wacky jacky, who needs direct access to the data on 24k people?

      Who allowed it? Who put it there? Who lost it?

      Next question; where is the noose icon?

  8. disgruntled yank

    odd test

    The level of detail strikes me as curious--the speed on single carriageways is something that I'd expect on a drivers license exam. The US requirement for "A knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States" seems sensible by comparison.

    For what it's worth, the Anglican church in the US is known as the Episcopal Church--the exam implied that the expression was limited to Scotland.

  9. JohnG

    "You can try the bizarre test to see if you would qualify as a UK citizen here"

    I got 18 out of 24 = just passed.

    This is mainly because my wife has recently taken and passed this test.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Can't try it

      It seems I can't try the test, it has just said "Loading" for over 5 minutes.

      Must be all the other commentards trying it out, and the steam-powered server that runs it has run out of coal.

      1. Lionel Baden

        WTF !!!

        That server cost 1gazzilion billion million pounds !!!!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    citizenship test

    well, I just failed. Though given that they claim that "Episcopal" and "Anglican" are different names for the Church of England (justified by the statement that the Episcopal Church of Scotland is the name of the CofE in Scotland) then I think they have a fairly low grasp on the UK themselved. (The correct question would have been which of these churches are Anglican with CofE and Episcopal CofS as options as they are both parts of the Anglican communion .... though I suppose the question may be aimed at checking that imigrants equate England with UK and thus fit in with the majority of people already here!)

  11. Andy Fletcher

    Damn...took the test and failed

    What good am I to the UK in any case. Nearly 40 and having worked from 16 I'm merely prolonging the agony by steadfastly paying my taxes in the full knowledge the money gets flushed down the bog.

    I'll get my coat.

  12. Cosmo


    33% - I failed. I'd better get out!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Looks like

      I'm coming with you.

      Some of the questions are so abstract that nobody could reasonably be expected to know them.

      EG, when were women first allowed to divorce, stupid question.

  13. Anonymous John

    Bizarre test indeed.

    I failed.

  14. Jonte Monkey

    I just took the test and failed...

    I was only born here and have lived here all my life... quite well educated too.

    Most of those questions are bizarre and have no relevance to living in the UK. Who the f*ck cares what other names the Church of England can go by, and why would I care how many hours children are allowed to work - if I ever have any children or wish to employ any, I'll find out. Maybe I should have followed my last job when it was outsourced to India - apparently I'm not fit to live here...

  15. max allan

    Weird test

    How does knowing how many people identified themselves as Muslims in 2009 qualify me as a citizen?

    Surely there should be more questions like :

    You see some hoodies, do you :

    A) Run away

    B) Get your head kicked in

    C) Pull your coat hood up over your head and try to blend in

    The hoodies are vandalising a car, do you :

    A) Run away

    B) Shout "Oi you louts, get lost" and wave your arms threateningly

    C) Waste your time and energy phoning the police

    After following B in the previous question, what will happen :

    A) Your head gets kicked in while one of them films it on a stolen mobile.

    B) You get successfully sued by the hoodies for threatening behaviour and the mental trauma they suffered.

    C) They laugh at you and ignore you.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This company got loads of government contracts as part of Tony's cronyism drive. When was the laptop stolen? Before the election by any chance?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    new title, same as the old title

    Hmmm....I also failed the citizenship test. 15/24. Very strange (and dubious) questions.

    It seems A4e have had other problems previously.....

  18. Graham Bartlett



    The strange thing there is the stuff I'm never ever likely to have learnt. Who was the biggest immigrant group in the 80s? Who cares apart from statisticians? What do you call CofE people? Annoying self-righteous godbotherers, for the most part. And who else apart from people born in the UK can vote? Well since I was born in the UK and lived here all my life, how on earth would I know? I'm surprised they didn't throw in a question on the Archers too.

  19. Noa

    I'll get my coat...

    uk born and lived here all my life and I score 54%. Very odd questions and not all well worded, the one on uk 'public' elections for example, we have - local, parliamentary, general and European parliamentary elections, all of these are 'public' aren't they? I couldn't find 2 options that would be allowed to vote in all these elections and as presiding officer for the past decade I'm disappointed that couldn't answer that question!

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