Global Dispatches

U.K. NHS Staff Data Lost in Mail

LONDON -- The U.K. National Health Service last week confirmed that four disks containing information on 17,990 employees were lost after they were mailed to the agency's payroll service provider.

The agency said that an employee violated NHS policy by mailing the disks from London-based Whittington Hospital to the offices of McKesson Corp. The worker, since suspended, should have used a courier.

The NHS would not say whether the data is encrypted, but it did report that it is password-protected and "difficult" to access. The agency has launched an internal investigation, contacted police and the U.K. Information Commissioner, and notified all staffers.

The disks contained the names, birth dates, national insurance numbers, and pay and attendance details of current and former employees.

-- Leo King, Computerworld U.K.

EU Planning Two IT Security Projects

BRUSSELS -- The European Commission's justice and security departments announced that they're planning to award two contracts for projects to improve Internet and telecommunications security.

The contracts will be awarded later this year. One is for a nine-month, €500,000 ($718,000 U.S.) project to define criteria for identifying critical IT infrastructure. The second contract, valued at €400,000 ($574,000 U.S.), is for finding ways to improve the emergency preparedness of telecommunications systems and the Internet in Europe.

-- Paul Meller, IDG News Service

Briefly Noted

The Kenyan government last week announced the creation of a $39 million (U.S.) venture capital fund to support IT projects selected by the Ministry of Industrialization. The fund includes contributions from the government and private investors in Kenya, South Africa, the U.S. and the U.K.

-- Rebecca Wanjiku, IDG News Service

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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