《泰晤士報》在頭版刊登了大幅學車者紅色標記"L"，並引述英國運輸大臣凱利向議會報告說，政府雇佣的一家私人公司5月在 美國艾奧瓦州丟失了這個硬盤驅動器，裡面存有超過300萬名需參加駕照理論考試者的姓名和住址等信息，但未包含任何銀行賬號或信用卡信息。她還證實，另外 兩個儲存有7500輛汽車信息及車主姓名和住址的硬盤驅動器也在轉移過程中丟失。
3 million learner drivers' details lost, says Ruth Kelly
The personal details of three million UK learner drivers have been lost in the American state of Iowa, the Government announced tonight.
Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, told MPs this evening that the data was housed on a hard drive in the Iowa City offices of Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd, a company employed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
The announcement was made minutes after Alistair Darling gave a non-committal interim report to the Commons on the loss of two computer discs earlier this year containing the Government’s entire child benefit database of around 25 million people.
The learner drivers information went missing when the hard drive was lost in May, Ms Kelly said. The records contained the name of the test applicant, their postal address and telephone number but no details of any individual’s bank account or credit card.
Ms Kelly apologised for “any uncertainty or concern” caused to those affected and announced she was tightening security procedures by a series of measures including a new link to provide information to police by electronic transmission from the DVLA rather than transferring tapes by courier.
She said that Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, had said the case did not appear to present “a substantial risk” to individuals.
Ms Kelly confirmed that her department had also lost details on 7,500 vehicles - including the names and addresses of their owners - which went missing in the mail as they were transferred from Northern Ireland to Wales.
The DVLA’s breach of data security followed the unprecedented autumn fiasco in which a junior HM Revenue and Customs official placed two unencrypted CDs containing highly secure information into the regular postal system.
The two Child Benefit discs that went missing in October contained names, dates of birth, bank and address details.
The Chancellor said there was still no evidence that identity fraudsters had got hold of the personal details. He told the Commons there was no increase in fraud attempts following the loss of the child benefit records, adding that police have no information that the data has fallen into wrong hands
Mr Darling refused to detail how the Government would prevent future breaches of security or examine the errors that allowed these blunders to occur until a full review of the incident was completed by Kieran Poynter.
Philip Hammond, Shadow Treasury minister, said that was “a wholly inadequate reponse from a wholly inadequate Chancellor”.
Mr Poynter, UK chairman at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, has recommended in an interim report that HMRC computers be restricted so that private details could not be downloaded without the proper clearance. The report is due to be published in full in the first half of next year.
The HMRC has already banned transfer of bulk data without adequate security protection and disabled all its computers to prevent data downloading onto removable discs. They will only be reactivated by a senior manager for a “business critical purpose”.
A interim report by Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell on improving data handling across government was also being published today.
Police have searched rubbish tips around London as well as scouring government offices in a massive hunt for the missing discs. Mr Darling asked millions of families to be alert and vigilant to ensure that no improper activity was affecting their bank accounts while the discs remain at large.