Thursday 22 November 2012

midata and identity assurance – BIS and DWP lure the British public into danger

Hat tip: Dave Birch

Questions have been raised about the advisability of creating population registers on the web.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) have an initiative called "midata" which would require us to enrol in identity registers in the cloud, please see for example Cybersecurity – good news at last, from midata.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have an initiative called "Universal Credit" which would require us to ditto, please see for example Identity assurance – convenient? It'll make your life so much easier.

The objections to subscribing to on-line population registers are manifold and include the dangers of cybercrime.

What dangers of cybercrime?

Take a look at this, from Reuters, 20 November 2012:
Man arrested in Athens over ID theft of most of Greek population

ATHENS | Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:14pm EST

(Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a man on suspicion of stealing the personal data of roughly two thirds of the country's population, police officials in Athens said on Tuesday.

The 35-year old computer programmer was also suspected of attempting to sell the 9 million files containing identification card data, addresses, tax ID numbers and license plate numbers. Some files contained duplicate entries, police said.

Greece's population is 11 million ...
BIS and DWP promise us, of course, that the midata and Universal Credit registers will be held in secure websites. No doubt. But then the Greek population register was supposed to be secure, too. Not much help, is it?

Surely this must be a one-off, you object? No. You're forgetting last year's Jerusalem Post, 24 October 2011:
'Contract worker stole all Israelis' personal information'


Information was used to create searchable database; computer technician put the database on Internet for anyone worldwide to access.

A contract worker from the Labor and Welfare Ministry was charged with stealing the personal information of over nine million Israelis from the Population Registry, the Justice Ministry announced Monday after a media ban was lifted.

The worker electronically copied identification numbers, full names, addresses, dates of birth, information on family connections and other information in order to sell it to a private buyer ...
And so it goes on ...

BIS and DWP are luring the British public into danger. It is at the very least irresponsible of them to do that. Why are they doing it?

It's up to them to answer that question.

Meanwhile, you are strongly advised to resist their invitations.

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