December 17, 2008 | Becky Hogge

Who's been losing your data?

The ORG data loss questionnaireYou hand over your personal details to councils, hospitals, employers and businesses all the time. But these institutions don't always keep that data safe. In fact, since HMRC lost its entire database of child benefit claimants last year, high profile data losses have hit the headlines with worrying regularity. But how does this affect you and your family? Click here to find out how likely it is that a government department or corporate entity has been losing your data recently.

Industry and Government want to aggregate and share more and more of your personal data. Schemes like the National Identity Register, ContactPoint and the Intercept Modernisation Programme are just the tip of the iceberg. But data insecurity is inevitable if large datasets are stored centrally and accessed by hundreds of different people. Data loss can lead to identity fraud and harassment for anyone affected. It is also likely to further complicate or even threaten the lives of those who are fleeing abusive relationships or on witness protection schemes. And that's without even getting into the debate about how data sharing and aggregation can change the relationship between citizen and state [.pdf].

Once you've taken the test, please share the link - - with friends. And if you learn of other incidents that should be added to the questionnaire, then please add them to our list of UK privacy debacles, which feeds into the questionnaire.

Thanks to Sam, Glyn, Casey and Rowan, the Open Rights Group volunteers who conceived and realised this project. Finally, please note that the application does not record users' responses or IP address. In fact we don't store any user data, which means there is no danger of us losing or leaking anyone's personal information.

Comments (4)

  1. Russ:
    Dec 18, 2008 at 08:55 AM

    The link to the UK Privacy Debacles wiki page is broken - it should be

  2. William:
    Dec 17, 2008 at 04:07 PM

    Well done all. Simple, clear and effective. The first survey Ive ever done that you somehow - perversely - want to go on and on! W

  3. Open Rights Group Newsblog : Blog Archive » Personal data on 6,360 prisoners lost:
    Jan 11, 2009 at 02:36 AM

    [...] Source: The Telegraph For a lot of reported data losses, plus to find out how much of your own data has been lost, see who’s been losing your data? [...]

  4. Random and Irrelevant » Blog Archive » Who’s been losing your data?:
    Jan 08, 2009 at 09:34 PM

    [...] Debacles listing all the incidences they are aware of.  In December last year they also published a simple on-line survey for people to use to determine how likely it was that their data has been [...]

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