The UK government's loss of 25-million citizen records this week is raising new questions about data security and privacy – as well as the critical issue of trust.
As one of the biggest security breaches in the UK's history, the loss of 25-million child benefit records leaves a large proportion of the country's citizens vulnerable to identity theft and bank fraud.
Revenue & Customers chairman Paul Gray has resigned over the incident, and banks have been alerted to watch out for suspicious activity in an attempt to limit the effects.
The two CDs which went missing contained details of the 7,25-million families that claim child benefit, including personal information such as addresses and bank details.
The official in charge of data protection, information commissioner Richard Thomas, told the BBC that the lapse of security was "a shocking case".
"I am at a loss to find out what happened in this situation. It is not just about the law. It is about retaining the trust and confidence of the population where so much information is entrusted to government."
It is thought that the CDs went missing in October, when the entire child benefit database was sent from the HMRC headquarter to the National Audit Office in London on October 18. They never arrived at their destination.
Questions are now being asked about why security policies weren't followed and suspicion raised that it was an attempt to save money.