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UK Government Slammed for Storage Snafu

An independent review body has slammed the U.K. Government for losing two disks containing personal information on some 25 million people.

The disks, which contained welfare information on almost half of the U.K. population, went missing last October when Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which is the British equivalent of the IRS, sent them to the National Audit Office (NAO).

A report presented to the U.K. Parliament today by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) hammers both organizations for what has now become arguably the worlds most spectacular storage snafu:

“The loss was entirely avoidable,” it said, adding that the data breach followed a breakdown in communications between junior officials at HMRC and the NAO. “Information security simply wasn’t a management priority as it should have been.”

The review by PwC chairman Kieran Poynter explains that more than 30 HRMC officials, from four different departments, and a number of NAO staff, played a part in the data loss, but does not identify any individuals.

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