30 August 2008

UK - Home Office loses data on 84,000 prisoners

Unencrypted data on all 84,000 prisoners in England and Wales has gone missing after a Home Office contractor lost a USB stick on which it had been stored. Contractor PA Consulting alerted the Home Office to the loss - and confirmed tha "rigorous" searches had failed to uncover the whereabouts of the memory stick and its cache of sensitive information. According to a Home Office statement, the missing USB stick contains: Data relating to all prisoners in England and Wales - 84,000 (names, dates of birth and in some cases, expected prison release data and date of Home Detention Curfew); Data relating to prolific and other priority offenders, approximately 10,000 individuals (names and dates of birth, but not addresses); Drug Interventions Programme data, with offenders' initials but not full names.