The HMRC has a history of losing sensitive information on unencrypted CDs. This month it emerged that it had lost confidential data on more than 15,000 people after a CD-ROM was lost in transit as it was sent from its office to the Standard Life pensions department in Edinburgh. A further CD-Rom containing data on customers of an unnamed second company was also reportedly missing. The Information Commissioner is investigating the breach involving Standard Life. A spokesman for the company said yesterday that HMRC and the police had not been able to locate the discs.
In August a laptop that contained sensitive financial details of about 400 people with ISAs was stolen after being left in a car. In May HMRC posted details of the family tax credits of 42,000 families to other people after an apparent “printer error”. This story will still be running long after Steve McClaren has cleared his desk.