Lords turn security screw on UK Government

Lords turn security screw on UK Government

New inquiry will highlight failure to act on recommendations aimed at protecting data

The House of Lord committee that produced a report on internet security last August is to hold a follow-up inquiry because it is “disappointed” in the government’s response.

The move is sure to embarrass the Government as there have been a number of highly publicised security breaches since the publication of the Personal Internet Security report.

A statement issued today by the Science and Technology committee points out that the government had, as the report recommended, increased the powers of the Information Commissioner to inspect organisations holding sensitive information.

But it said this had happened only after the furore stemming from the loss of personal data of 25 million people by HM Revenue and Customs.

The statement said the Government had rejected many the report’s recommendations, including calls for a data-breach notification law, increased resources and skills for the police dealing with internet crime, and a requirement that victims of online card fraud report it tp the police rather than to their banks.

Those who gave evidence at the inquiry that produced the original report will be asked to give their views on the Government’s response. A short follow-up report will be published in early summer.

Lord Sutherland, chairman of the Science and Technology committee, said the Government had failed to address some of the key concerns about people’s security on the internet.

He went on: “The House of Lords is likely to be debating the report in the summer and to ensure that the debate is as well informed as possible we have decided to seek key stakeholders’ views on ... We will also be holding a public evidence session with Government officials before publishing our follow-up report early in the summer.”