This government is leaking data and documents at a truly unbelievable rate.
There were three cases yesterday alone:
• The leak of the Kitteridge report to Farifax Media (who had copies? who leaked it and why?).
• Yet another Novopay stuff-up, 1600 schools are sent private details of teachers at other schools. 3400 teachers are affected, 40 particularly so.
• Labour’s Clare Curran revealed that 63000 Ministry of Justice documents were left in plain view on a website – data that include passwords in plain text. Curran writes: “I have been told that these are basic security flaws not requiring a lot of computer programming knowledge”.
But wait – there’s more:
• the ACC breach in 2011 where details of 6000 clients were sent to Bronwyn Pullar (the resulting fuss resulted in the resignations of ACC minister Nick Smith, ACC chair John Judge, two directors and chief executive Ralph Stewart)
• let’s not forget Paula Bennet’s vindictive release of the private details of two welfare beneficiaries that she took a dislike to
• the EQC emailing confidential details of 98000 claims to a blogger / advocate
• the EQC leak of 22000 names and $23 Million worth of financial information (an incident which resulted in a bizarre complete shutdown of EQC’s email systems for days)
• any number of incidents at WINZ,
• an incident involving the Ministry of Health
• and the Ministry of Education
• and Immigration New Zealand
• and the Ministry for the Environment
• and so on and so on – who knows how many I have missed – add them in comments.
When pressed on this last month John Key tried to downplay the incidents:
Key: Email gaffes not systemic
Mr Key yesterday said he didn’t believe the latest breach suggested any systemic private data handling issues across the public sector.
But the breaches have kept coming, and systemic is now clearly what they are. In fact, yesterday Bill English had this to say:
Govt cannot guarantee public information is protected – English
The Government cannot guarantee all information it holds about members of the public is safe, Finance Minister Bill English has admitted. English revealed the worrying state of Government department databases in the wake of new security breach allegations.
Perhaps more public sector job cuts will fix the problems.