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UK Government Loses Personal Data of Almost Half Its Population

Prime Minister Gordon Brown stood by his finance minister as opposition parties accused the government of incompetence after it revealed it had lost personal details of almost half the U.K. population. Alistair Darling was yesterday forced to explain to lawmakers how two unencrypted disks containing records of 7.3 million families claiming child-benefit payments had gone missing from the tax authority, which is overseen by the Treasury. The loss, the largest of its kind in U.K. history, lays open the 25 million people named in the data to the risk of fraud and theft.

Brown Backs His Finance Minister Over U.K. Data Loss, Bloomberg News, November 21, 2007.