Over 400,000 crime records could be affected by police computer error

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legalhelp
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#1
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https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...identally-lost

Home Office covering themselves in glory once again. Data protection analysis to follow at some point, provided I can get through the DPA 2018 without weeping salty tears of boredom.
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DiddyDec
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Will anyone be held accountable? No. Just another **** up to add to the long list of **** ups.
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04MR17
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Similar thing happened under Theresa May at the home office. I think that time it was relating to immigration, not crime though.

I seem to remember a political sketch / prank TV show turning up to the Home Office saying "we've got some files here for a T May".
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Napp
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Similar thing happened under Theresa May at the home office. I think that time it was relating to immigration, not crime though.

I seem to remember a political sketch / prank TV show turning up to the Home Office saying "we've got some files here for a T May".
It just reminds me of the episode of The Thick of It with the massive data loss :lol:
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caravaggio2
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Do the government still refuse to delete DNA/
I remember a case some years ago iirc where a young lad went along to a police station as a witness to make a statement to help the police. Acting with the usual state employee efficiency they mistook him for the offender and took his finger prints and DNA and put him in a cell. After a short while it was all sorted out and they apologised, but when the boys father asked for his finger prints and DNA to be destroyed the police refused. The father was left with a fight on his hands to get the data removed and the last heard they still have it. We have the largest national DNA database in the world
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legalhelp
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(Original post by Napp)
It just reminds me of the episode of The Thick of It with the massive data loss :lol:
Same! Somewhere in the Home Office, a Nicola Murray equivalent is sitting at her desk with her head in her hands, whispering the words, “massive, irretrievable data loss”
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legalhelp
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
Do the government still refuse to delete DNA/
I remember a case some years ago iirc where a young lad went along to a police station as a witness to make a statement to help the police. Acting with the usual state employee efficiency they mistook him for the offender and took his finger prints and DNA and put him in a cell. After a short while it was all sorted out and they apologised, but when the boys father asked for his finger prints and DNA to be destroyed the police refused. The father was left with a fight on his hands to get the data removed and the last heard they still have it. We have the largest national DNA database in the world
I might be out of date on this one but last I checked, they kept DNA for anyone convicted for all eternity, but were supposed to not do that for people who were acquitted / where cases were binned. But it varies from force to force. And sadly, that story doesn’t surprise me in the slightest if it’s true.
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Final Fantasy
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How could this possibly be deleted? From a technical point of view, I mean it's very difficult to permanently delete things these days - most of the time they're just archived and it's a matter of permissions and access. If they really wanted to, they could recover any lost data no? To permanently delete it, you'd literally have to actually delete it - something which no staff member should be able to except for the relevant engineer / database administrator or whatever. For normal staff, when you see 'delete' it doesn't actually delete the data, just archives and hides it away - usually - putting this very basic terms. The data is still there in the database or whatever storage medium.
Last edited by Final Fantasy; 1 month ago
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Final Fantasy)
How could this possibly be deleted? From a technical point of view, I mean it's very difficult to permanently delete things these days - most of the time they're just archived and it's a matter of permissions and access. If they really wanted to, they could recover any lost data no? To permanently delete it, you'd literally have to actually delete it - something which no staff member should be able to except for the relevant engineer / database administrator or whatever. For normal staff, when you see 'delete' it doesn't actually delete the data, just archives and hides it away - usually - putting this very basic terms. The data is still there in the database or whatever storage medium.
It is a legal requirement to completely delete some records, simply archiving them would be against the law.
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Final Fantasy
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
It is a legal requirement to completely delete some records, simply archiving them would be against the law.
How do they check that it's been deleted? In my experience, every company I've worked at we just keep the data (engineers), normal staff don't really know **** and aren't authorised to check, those that do check are themselves engineers. Very few people are aware or even care actually. Maybe in public it would not be a wise idea to say they can still get the data - I guess, that makes more sense to me. Permanent deletion of data however does not make sense to me in my line of work - it is incredibly difficult to do and even then still not guaranteed it's been permanently erased.
Last edited by Final Fantasy; 1 month ago
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Final Fantasy
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I can't think of a way normal staff would erase the data? Like for example you'd have to access the database itself, ssh in or something, then run a DELETE query. Even then it might not be deleted if all the db is backed up elsewhere in other places regularly and/or if the db gets replicated to other databases in realtime, or idk, hard to explain - there's lots of ways but normal staff can't do this?
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Final Fantasy)
How do they check that it's been deleted? In my experience, every company I've worked at we just keep the data (engineers), normal staff don't really know **** and aren't authorised to check, those that do check are themselves engineers. Very few people are aware or even care actually. Maybe in public it would not be a wise idea to say they can still get the data - I guess, that makes more sense to me. Permanent deletion of data however does not make sense to me in my line of work - it is incredibly difficult to do and even then still not guaranteed it's been permanently erased.
When it comes to personal data you must comply with GDPR/DPA and failing to do so can lead to some pretty heavy fines.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Final Fantasy)
I can't think of a way normal staff would erase the data? Like for example you'd have to access the database itself, ssh in or something, then run a DELETE query. Even then it might not be deleted if all the db is backed up elsewhere in other places regularly and/or if the db gets replicated to other databases in realtime, or idk, hard to explain - there's lots of ways but normal staff can't do this?
It wasn't deleted by normal staff, it was deleted in a coding error.
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Final Fantasy
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
When it comes to personal data you must comply with GDPR/DPA and failing to do so can lead to some pretty heavy fines.
I understand - GDPR was a massive thing for us, we had to get to grips with it quickly. But having said that, we also knew it was just politicians playing with words again and honestly hasn't made much of a technical difference. We just carry on and comply as we always have, but nobody other than engineers seems to understand how things work anyway - they just want confirmation - which we give, that's that. I still don't understand how anyone can think the data is really gone because we can always find clever ways to dig it up tbh. It just makes no sense to me and seems more of a political thing.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Final Fantasy)
I understand - GDPR was a massive thing for us, we had to get to grips with it quickly. But having said that, we also knew it was just politicians playing with words again and honestly hasn't made much of a technical difference. We just carry on and comply as we always have, but nobody other than engineers seems to understand how things work anyway - they just want confirmation - which we give, that's that. I still don't understand how anyone can think the data is really gone because we can always find clever ways to dig it up tbh. It just makes no sense to me and seems more of a political thing.
Lets hope you never get audited then.
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Final Fantasy
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
It wasn't deleted by normal staff, it was deleted in a coding error.
Code wouldn't delete it though unless the code had access to a database account with delete permissions. Even if it did however and deleted it, there would be backups in place. It still makes no sense to me sorry - not being difficult I just don't understand that's all.
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Final Fantasy
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
Lets hope you never get audited then.
We get audited all the time, all companies do. But, they too are have technical teams to do the auditing for them. These teams understand our teams at every company we've been at and from a technical point of view things make sense. Permanently erasing data does not make sense - not by accident. There are deliberate ways to permanently delete data, if we have authorisation from senior staff for example then we damn sure make sure it's deleted of course. But I just don't see how it can be accidentally deleted. Permanently.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Final Fantasy)
Code wouldn't delete it though unless the code had access to a database account with delete permissions. Even if it did however and deleted it, there would be backups in place. It still makes no sense to me sorry - not being difficult I just don't understand that's all.
I imagine they are running a vastly outdated system without proper backups since it is public services and their systems are famously ****.
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Final Fantasy
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
I imagine they are running a vastly outdated system without proper backups since it is public services and their systems are famously ****.
Okay that might make more sense, I've just not been in a situation before that didn't have backups or replicated data continuously to other locations etc. so it's possible for code to delete data if it has access to the database with permissions to delete data - if that database is not being backed up regularly then it would be lost unless someone recovers it from somewhere but that's temporary. That is really crazy that someone develops a system for staff to use without failsafes or whatever. I thought the government contracted out developers, I've seen the jobs in the past and they make loads of money up to £800 + VAT a day in some contracts... not sure what it's like now, but just mental. I've always stayed away from government though.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Final Fantasy)
Okay that might make more sense, I've just not been in a situation before that didn't have backups or replicated data continuously to other locations etc. so it's possible for code to delete data if it has access to the database with permissions to delete data - if that database is not being backed up regularly then it would be lost unless someone recovers it from somewhere but that's temporary. That is really crazy that someone develops a system for staff to use without failsafes or whatever. I thought the government contracted out developers, I've seen the jobs in the past and they make loads of money up to £800 + VAT a day in some contracts... not sure what it's like now, but just mental. I've always stayed away from government though.
Given the NHS is still running XP you can see how **** ups like this happen. Gov contracts are lucrative because they are more than happy to spaff away public money since they don't have a bottom line to worry about.
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