A massive security breach involving the personal information of “virtually every child in Britain” has occurred in the United Kingdom, The Guardian reports. It “could expose the personal data of more than 25 million people – nearly half the country’s population,” CBS News reports. The data concerns “families with children, including names, dates of birth, addresses, bank account information and insurance records.” Two computer disks containing the data were sent via ordinary mail between two government departments and were apparently lost in the mail. The breach was announced to the House of Commons yesterday by Alistair Darling, Britain’s equivalent to our treasury secretary. He said this wasn’t the first time Britain’s tax agency had experienced such a breach. There was, however, no evidence that the data has fallen into criminal hands. This is a clear illustration of risky it would be to have a national database of children’s personal information in the US, which is what would be required in order to establish children’s age verification online (for more on this, see “Social networker age verification revisited”).
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