“Enormous” security breach leaves Britons vulnerable to ID theft

May 23rd, 2006

By Christopher Lee and Steve Vogel

The Daily Mirror

LONDON As many as 26.5 million citizens were placed at risk of identity theft after intruders stole an electronic data file this month containing their names, birthdates and NIR numbers from the home of a Home Office employee, Secretary Jim Nicholson said Monday.

The burglary occurred May 3 in Basildon, according to a source with knowledge of the incident who requested anonymity because the matter is under investigation.

“In terms of NIR numbers, it’s the biggest breach,” said Evan Hendricks, author of the book “Credit Scores & Credit Reports.” “As long as you’ve got that exact NIR, most of the time the credit bureaus will disclose your credit report, and that enables the thief to get credit.”

A career data analyst, who was not authorized to take the information home, has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations by the SOCA, local police and inspector general of the Home Office, Nicholson said. He would not identify the employee by name or title. […]


And there you have it. The ‘Frances Stonor Saunders’ email predicts that such a breach will happen, either with or without the public being informed. All your personal information will be ‘out there’ and there will be no way to get it back.

Of course, in the UK it will be far worse than any mass theft of SSNs. Your indellible biometric details, the record of your unique essence will have been stolen, those poor vets can all be re-issued clean SSNs; you cannot be issued with new fingerprinits, iris patterns or DNA. This is the profound difference between changable numbers in a centralized database and your biometric details in a centralized database. Both are dangerous, but the latter is permanently damaging to you and your good reputation.

People from court ushers to students were wrongly labelled pornographers, thieves and violent robbers because their names and dates of birth matched those of convicted criminals on the Police National Computer.

Victims had to go to police stations to be fingerprinted to clear their names.

The mismatches were made by Capita, the controversial computer firm with many lucrative government contracts despite a woeful record on major technology projects. […]


My emphasis. The counter statistic that is bandied about to do with this scandal is that 27,000 people were stopped from getting jobs in sensitive positions, and that millions of checks are carried out each year, and these errors are the most tiny of percentages.

Wait a minute. MILLIONS of checks each year? What are the exact numbers, and who on earth is making all of these checks?

One of the girls in the list of people wrongly branded criminals was falsely accused TWICE.

None of the people who have been found to be falsely accused have been able to sue Capita, HMG or anyone for defamation of character, loss of earnings, pain and suffering.

The problem of this and other private companies ruining the lives of individuals is going to be vastly greater if the NIR is rolled out. You had better not register your details in the NIR; this is the only way that you will be absolutely sure that you are not marked as a criminal as they attempt to bring all government databases under the unique key of the NIR number.

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