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HMRC data loss was theft claims ex-con

The current position taken by the Government and reported extensively in the UK media is the loss of 25 million child benefit claimant records by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is simply an unfortunate blunder arising from sending computer discs in the post.

Not so reports Computerworld UK today further to an exclusive interview with Frank Abagnale, the colourful former ex-con, FBI fraud expert and author of Catch me if you can, who says he's convinced it's an inside job and straight forward theft given how easy it is to pick things up in post rooms.

"It was not just a mistake. I truly believe that someone paid for the information to be stolen. It's what happens all the time, that someone acted in collusion with somebody else to steal this data" says Abagnale.

Governments, corporations and local authorities do a "horrible job of protecting data" he says.

The impact will last for years and the government needs to be specific about what it will do to protect people urges Abagnale.

The HMRC blunder shows how the UK lags far behind the USA in data breach notification laws.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.