Government inquiries rocked by data loss incidents

Data loss folder

The Ministry of Justice is investigating data loss incidents affecting three high-profile, judge-led, independent inquiries.

They include the Azelle Rodney Inquiry, the Robert Hamill Inquiry and the Mark Duggan Inquest. Work on all three has now been completed, despite the loss of data, and The Information Commissioner's Office has been notified.

Three discs containing information relating to these cases was discovered missing on 8 January, although the Ministry of Justice said in a statement it doesn't thing their disapperance was the result of malicious intent. However, at this stage, it's unclear whether the information has been disposed of or is in the possession of someone.

The Ministry of Defence said in a statement: "The government takes information security extremely seriously, and this incident is a breach of the arrangements that should be in place.

"At this stage there is no evidence to indicate that the information loss arose from malicious intent. Nevertheless, it is essential to take the most precautionary view and to take all necessary steps to safeguard the interests of anyone whose information could be disclosed."

The police and other agencies have already investigated the losses and reports concerning the Azelle Rodney Inquiry and Mark Duggan Inquest have both been published already, but an independent review will be launched to help the Ministry of Justice and Cabinet Office learn lessons from the data loss events.

The Ministry of Justice continued: "As well as safeguarding individuals' interests, the government has undertaken urgent investigations into how this incident was able to happen, and further investigations continue in relation to both the conduct of individuals and the organisational safeguards against information security breaches of this kind."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.