MOD lost 11,000 military ID cards

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MOD lost 11,000 military ID cards

Post by Guest on Sat 15 Mar 2008, 12:01 pm

A new data security row has hit the Ministry of Defence after it emerged that an "extraordinary" 11,000 military ID cards have been lost or stolen in the past two years.

Opposition parties said the losses are yet more proof that the Government's plans for a national ID card scheme would fail to improve security.

According to MoD figures released in a Commons written answer, 4,433 ID cards disappeared in 2006 and a further 6,812 went missing last year.

The disclosure follows the loss of a laptop with details of more than 150,000 people who had applied to join the Armed Forces. The computer was stolen in January from a Royal Navy officer's car parked overnight in Birmingham.

The Government has been under pressure over data security since the loss last year of the entire HM Revenue and Customs child benefit database with the personal details of 25 million people.

The Conservative defence spokesman Gerald Howarth said the latest case was "yet another reason why the public has no confidence in the Government's ID card plans for the rest of the population".

Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, said the figures were "just extraordinary" and made a mockery of the security procedures at military facilities.

"This shows the inherent frailty of ID card schemes with cards and data getting lost on this scale and is yet another proof that schemes, such as the ID card database, simply won't improve our security against terrorism."

A spokesman for the MoD said the department took the issue "very seriously" and that steps were being taken to improve general security awareness.

"Military ID cards form one part of the security measures we have in place," the spokesman added. "They have photographic ID on them, so it would be difficult for them to be used by individuals they have not been assigned to."

Provided By: Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtmlxml=/news/2008/03/12/ncards112.xml

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