back to article Citizens don't trust UK.GOV with their data

UK citizens have little faith in the government's ability to securely handle their private data - according to a wide-ranging survey which echoes findings by the National Audit Office. Just 22 per cent believed that the government has appropriate means to stop cyber-attacks and identity breaches, according to 1,500 citizens …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But... but...

    Theresa assured us that secure means secure.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Quelle surprise

    A breif walk down memory lane say, back to the millennium will clearly show government's approach to data security.

    Don't approach it walk the other way. Password protected CDs, memory sticks, secure passwords?

    My word this IT stuff is clever now! Can we do all that ?

    I won't even mention gov' contracts to bring the UK gov into the 21st century.

    Well, apart from just then.

    1. m0rt

      Re: Quelle surprise

      All I can say is this

      This highlights that it isn't a systems problem. It is a systemic problem.

      This will *never* be solved.

  3. James 51
    Pirate

    Until the heads of senior civil servants and politicians start rolling nothing will change.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK citizens have little faith in the government's ability to securely handle their private data

    FTFY

    1. Nolveys
      Big Brother

      UK citizens have little faith in the government

      Beat me to it. The questions in the survey seem to only concerned with "bad guys" breaking into government databases. They don't ask the question "Do you trust the government to protect your data from the government?"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dont trust the government...

    Because the supply chain for kit is absurd.

    A chinese made cheap NAS enclosure (which is probably what they'll use) probably costs about £69million by the time its plugged in.

    On another note...how many civil servants does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    All of them to plan it and one of them to outsource it.

    1. Dominion

      Re: I dont trust the government...

      Interesting that you said "screw in a lightbulb". The outsourcer bid for that job, but on commencement discovered that the old bulb was still in place. As this work was out of scope the costs tripled....

      1. Oliver Mayes

        Re: I dont trust the government...

        > The outsourcer bid for that job, but on commencement discovered that the old bulb was still in place. As this work was out of scope the costs tripled....

        Then when they get to the end of the contract they discover that they were unable to change the lightbulb at all due to; lack of specifications, unanticipated consultancy fees, and increased cost of stepladders. The new lightbulb has been placed on a shelf in an MOD depot somewhere near Droitwich and tendering has begun to find a new contractor to complete the work by 2025.

        Of course, since the original contract didn't actually specify that payment was contingent on completing the work, the full £15,000,000 (up from the £3,000,000 originally quoted) has to be paid regardless of the outcome.

        But hey, it's all just taxpayers money, right?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I dont trust the government...

          "It's not taxpayers' money though. It's our money."

          "It came from taxpayers."

          "Yes, but they gave it to us."

          -- Bird and Fortune

      2. Alister

        Re: I dont trust the government...

        Interesting that you said "screw in a lightbulb". The outsourcer bid for that job, but on commencement discovered that the old bulb was still in place. As this work was out of scope the costs tripled....

        Then, having amended the workflow to take account of the new requirement to unscrew and remove the old bulb, (with inherent increase in costs), it became apparent that the old bulb required to be pushed in, turned half a turn, and released, before withdrawing it, rather than unscrewing it as previously specified.

        This was a paradigm shift in methodology, and a committee was hastily convened to investigate this.

        In due course, a new requirement was drafted, embracing the new ideas, and the scope of the contract was amended to take account of the change in approach.

        The outsourcer completed the first part of the work - to remove the old lightbulb, but then found that the replacement item had been ordered to match the original specification (ES fitting).

        At this point the government cancelled the contract as it had gone way out of time and over budget.

        1. m0rt

          Re: I dont trust the government...

          Yes - but before you actually start looking at the lightbulb, you need to look at what is powering that lightbulb, where that power comes from, who produces it.

          Basically, our current energy polices are actually the precursor to changing a lightbulb in Westminster.

        2. Wensleydale Cheese

          Re: I dont trust the government...

          "The outsourcer completed the first part of the work - to remove the old lightbulb, but then found that the replacement item had been ordered to match the original specification (ES fitting)."

          And due to outsourcing through 3 levels of subcontractor, one of whom was US based, the replacements which arrived were 120 volt models.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: I dont trust the government...

      Utterly ludicrous.

      Like it would take only one to do the outsourcing.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I dont trust the government...

      "On another note...how many civil servants does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

      Given that most UK lightbulbs are BC it's unlikely that any would.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: I dont trust the government...

        "Given that most UK lightbulbs are BC it's unlikely that any would."

        Aha. Change of specification.

        That'll be a chargeable extra then.

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I dont trust the government...

      You're all joking about light bulbs, but I recall a tale about a school that had out-sourced all it's facilities maintenance and ended up getting charged hundreds of pounds just to get some strip lights swapped.

      UK.GOV: Making your jokes redundant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I dont trust the government...

        This is getting out of hand and we all seem to have missed one critical point.

        Once outsourced, how many people are left to organise the road closure?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK citizens have little faith in the government

    oh.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freedom

    Control is not compatible with Freedom.

    1. m0rt

      Re: Freedom

      Rather trite.

      The person who controls his temper when necessary will get further than the one who just lets rip at every opportunity. The former will stay freer than the latter...that is certain.

      1. Number6

        Re: Freedom

        Isn't that the difference between external control and self-control?

  8. BebopWeBop

    Only 37 per cent said they were confident that the government would keep their personal data secure; while 32 per cent believed departments would not be able toe share information securely between public sector bodies.

    Just confirming that a worryingly large proportion of the British public are extremely naive. And unfortunately they (and others) don't seem able to hold successive administrations to account.

  9. Adair Silver badge

    This seems like a timely moment...

    to remind readers of this little gem: http://tinyurl.com/z6trkad

  10. David Pollard

    Covata wrote ...

    Maybe it's mentioned elsewhere, but one of the necessary requirements not included in the list is that the programs handling the data should be open source or open to full inspection by any interested party.

  11. AndrewDu

    How many civil servants does it take to change a lightbulb?

    One: he holds it still while the rest of the world revolves around him.

    I'll get my coat...

    1. m0rt

      Elon Musk is not a civil servant. What are you talking about?

  12. ultrastarx1

    I have so so much to say on this topic, but i would probably end up like SnowMan..

    I think alot of the problems could be fixed if the public sector realised that promoting a person from lets say the accounts department into IT is not the same as moving them from one paper pushing job to another. Many IT experts within the public sector are just people who applied for a job because they spent 3 years in their last role, and fancied a pay rise, possibly with a desk closer to home. And sadly the talent leaves for better pay and your often left with the dross; right up to people promoted to being in charge of large IT departments with thousands of users.. ps if your reading this Stuart, i do mean you ;)

  13. NotTellingYou

    This council has everything under control

    You can tell by their domain: http://wigan.gov.uk I would normally be please I don't live there but I have no evidence anywhere else would be different

  14. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wonder how many of those not trusting the govt. have TalkTalk as their ISP or Yahoo as their mail provider and haven't seen any reason to change.

  15. Al fazed Bronze badge
    Happy

    Data verification ?? What's that ??

    The problem with collecting all of this data on people is that apart from anything else, it does need to be verified as being correct.

    Anyways, as anyone using social media knows, it is so easy to falsify the info you provide and there is no-one actually checking to verify what you put. If say for example, I am actually male but I enter "female" into the form. Perhaps it doesn't matter in cyber space what sex I really am, but the paying advertisers are now sending me offers for stuff I will never buy. So their paid for ads are simply part of my entertainment when I ever do log in. I get unexpected giggles out of their efforts and pains.

    Since I stopped trusting various outlets of the NHS some time ago now, as they appear to know bugger all about homeopathy, real chiropractics, natural child birth, dementia, depression, or even dentistry these days, the information that they do have on me is far from up to date, or even correct. BECAUSE, they didn't have a fucking tick box for that answer on their digital form.

    Bye the way, what ever data the police hold on me, or you is far from correct. Simply because they (the police officers) were falsifying that information way back when pens were still being used. Accessing data was very popular amongst the lock up's cleaners, before the digital era arrived and not a lot seems to have changed since, judging by the news reports filed to date in the Register.

    In a recent Crown Court case which I studied, the CPS and barristers appeared not to know the difference between the "downloading" and "uploading" of files to the Internet, even though one of these is potentially illegal, depending upon the content in question. Needless to say a conviction was gained by the Prosecution using a browsers download logs as evidence of uploading illegal content. Go figure that one !!!!

    So all in all, if Govermins etc. cannot even ensure the security or the validity, or the timelyness of the data that they intend to share with their corporate buddies in Pharmacueticals and Insurance Land, what actual use is it ????

    GIGO was the term we used then and it still applies today.

    Hopefully it will be more than simply blank cells in their Excel spreadsheets and as a result, these corporate dinosaurs will die through a lack of nutrition.

    ALF

  16. MJI Silver badge

    And I trust the US even less

    NSA back door with UK ISP emails via Yahoo

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