MoD loses soldier data

The private details of 100,000 armed forced personnel has gone missing, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has admitted.

EDS, the MoD’s main IT contractor had been in charge of the information at the time it went missing.

“Once again, the loss of so much confidential information shows the reckless approach this government takes with our personal information,” said shadow defence secretary Liam Fox.

The hardware is said to contain the names, address, passport numbers, dates of birth and driving licence details of serving members of the army, navy and RAF, as well as their next of kin details.

The department learnt of the data loss on Wednesday and MoD police are now investigating the incident.

“This is an unprecedented loss of data , even by the MoD’s dreadful standards,” said Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey.

A MoD spokeswoman said today: “On Wednesday, October 8th we were informed by our contractor EDS that they were unable to account for a portable hard drive used in connection with the administration of Armed Forces personnel data.

“This came to light during a priority audit EDS are conducting to comply with the Cabinet Office data handling review.

“The MoD police are investigating this matter with EDS.”

The missing hard drive is the latest security breach at the MoD, in July it was confirmed that 658 laptops had been stolen over the last four years and 26 portable memory sticks containing classified information had been misplaced since January.