Monday, November 20, 2006

Is this a data protection breach?

Last week the National Archive announced that over a 1000 registrations cards of foreign nationals that came to London have gone online and are now searchable. The cards are for settling foreign nationals between 1914 and 1991 and, according to website include information such as
"full name, date of birth, date of arrival into the UK, marital status, details of any children, address, employment history (including employer's name and address), and date of naturalisation with the Home Office reference if applicable... [and] at least one photograph"
Is it just me or does 1991 sound awfully recent? There's a strong possibility that some of these people will still be alive. It's very possible that those people might even live in the same place. I wonder if any checks were made, or people were asked if they wanted their personal history published for all to see?

Don't get me wrong on this though. I think such information is useful for historical purposes, what I'm not sure about is whether publishing detailed personal information from the not very distant past is particularly wise, or perhaps still, even legal?


Benedict White said...

Right, so just about enough information for stealing some ones identity.


Someone needs to be sacked.

dizzy said...

Oh, I wonder what the immigrant next door's mothers maiden name is?

Gavin Ayling said...

Assuming the information from 1991 is as complete as from 1914 then this is far too recent...

ThunderDragon said...

I am very surprised that they are putting information from 1991 up! They usually have to wait 30 years!

However, these are closed cases cards so there is little currently-relevant information on them. And, as always with the National Archive catalogue, you need to know what you are looking for before you can find it - you have to search by name, date of birth, etc.