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The UK Data Handling Procedures in Government Report set out clear and mandatory procedures to be followed by all government employees that have access to and responsibility for citizen data. The Report was drafted at the request of Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in response to HMRC's loss of 2 compact discs containing 25 million child benefit records in November 2007. As a result of this data loss and to thwart future episodes related to this type of preventable loss, all departments placed immediate restrictions on their use of removable media and subsequently all departments have initiated programmes to encrypt laptops and USB memory sticks. The Report sets out significant changes to government departmental policy with regard to secure handling of citizens' data and individual departments must show compliance with the new Data Handling procedures.
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