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Online firms face strict regulation

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Names, passwords, telephone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, sex and ethnicity data were apparently stolen from Monster.co.uk in what is being hailed as the biggest breach of confidential data since HM Revenue and Customs lost the details of 25 million child benefit recipients in 2007. "We’ve seen this time and time again over the past few months: apparently reputable organisations having their systems hacked – memory sticks, CDs and laptops being lost and stolen – all containing millions of people’s confidential data,” continues Garlick, who set up London-based Nebulas Security in 2001 and now turns over £7m.

“Unless organisations tackle this situation, they will face tough external regulation forcing them into straight-jacket systems designed to protect personal data properly. Such regulation is already being drafted in the US. While it will have benefits, it will mean additional cost and overheads.   “Many of those using the Monster.co.uk site are now facing a double whammy. Seeking work as a result of job losses or job insecurity caused by the credit crunch is bad enough, but having your personal data stolen simply because you uploaded your CV to a well-known recruitment site just adds insult to injury.  “Online businesses must do better. If not, tough US-style regulation will come, along with the inevitable law suits.”

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