UK Gov't's Disk Desperation

HMRC's storage snafu becomes even more farcical

December 6, 2007

1 Min Read
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Desperate times, so the saying goes, call for desperate measures, particularly when you have mislaid the personal details of some 25 million people.

Desperate is an apt description of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the U.K.'s equivalent of the IRS, which is now scrambling to recover two missing disks that could be worth more than $3 billion if they fall into the wrong hands.

The disks, which contain welfare information on almost half the population, went missing last month when the department sent the disks to the National Audit Office.

Even a massive police investigation has failed to locate the missing media, prompting the U.K. government to offer a reward for information that could help them find the disks.

Officials are now offering more than $40,000 to anyone that may know where the disks are located, according to media reports. So much for the efforts of dozens of police officers (which apparently included a dig through a rubbish dump) and a major government probe. Offering a reward is tantamount to admitting defeat in the search for these disks.Suddenly, using GPS systems and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track media in transit doesn't seem quite so far-fetched.

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