Fraser Nelson

What other data does Pearson have?

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What I love about this government is that they lose no time passing the blame. Just as Darling fingered the TNT courier company for the lost discs, we’re told that Pearson Driving Assessments is the data company (mis)handling the driver license info. Could this be the same Pearson who (as Dizzy pointed out last week) handles UK teacher training application data from their sites in Minnesota? The logo certainly appears to look the same. Dizzy’s FoI requests have shown us that such teacher data is sent daily to Pearson – whose data security credentials are, hilariously, self-assessed. This means they are given a list, tick the boxes and next thing you know they’re being sent confidential UK records. As he puts it, the pledge means “We accept no responsibility for anyone that sells your data after we've given it to them for free and asked them to promise not to tell anyone”.

The department says that Pearson “are deemed to meet UK standards of data security”. Nowadays, that’s nothing to boast about.

PS - Dizzy is well worth reading on issues of data security. In September 2006 he highlighted the lack of assurances of what happens to your teacher training info when it arrives in America. Keep an eye on his blog as this fiasco unfolds.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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