The biggest data disaster ever
Повеќе: http://redtape.msnbc.com/2007/11/britains-lost-d.html#postsIt's being called the worst data leak of the information age. Earlier this month, U.K. officials had to admit they'd lost hard drives containing personal information on almost half the country's population, including nearly all families with children. If that's not bad enough, the databases included the worst kind of information to lose -- consumer bank account numbers.
It's a data scandal fit for tabloids. The price tag put on the loss is already $500 million. Prime Minister Gordon Brown had to issue a public apology, and the head of Britain's Revenue and Customs office was forced to resign. The U.S. audience might have missed the initial news because the story broke during the Thanksgiving holiday. But the obvious question floating across the Pond is this: Could something that dramatic happen in the United States?
Yes, most experts say. And the consequences here would be even worse.
The disks lost by British officials contained intimate details on every family in the United Kingdom that claims the child benefit -- a government subsidy payment that goes to every household with children. The disks were lost in transit. The information on them included the names, addresses, dates of birth, insurance numbers and banking details. In all, data on 25 million of Britain’s 60 million citizens were on the disks.
That amount of the data loss is staggering -- just shy of half the nation's population.