Breaches in security rock firms in UK

LONDON - Companies and government departments have suffered an "inexcusable number" of security breaches since the loss of millions of personal details last year, a watchdog said yesterday.

LONDON - Companies and government departments have suffered an "inexcusable number" of security breaches since the loss of millions of personal details last year, a watchdog said yesterday.

Information commissioner Richard Thomas said he had been told of 94 data breaches since November, with two-thirds from the public sector and half from financial institutions.

Prime minister Gordon Brown ordered an urgent review after the tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), said it had lost data on 25million people, exposing them to the risk of identity theft and fraud. The watchdog said the government, banks and other organisations must make data security a priority.

"It is particularly disappointing that the HMRC breaches have not prevented other unacceptable security breaches from occurring," said Thomas.

The breaches included the loss of laptops, computer discs, memory sticks and paper records. Some were stolen, others lost in the post. - Reuters

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