back to article ICO raps UK Student Loans Co for leaking MEDICAL files and more

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has criticised Blighty's Student Loans Company for handing students' medical reports and other private files over to the wrong people. In various blunders, records including medical notes and a psychological assessment were accidentally leaked to an unnamed outside organisation, sent …

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  1. Timmay

    Why does the Student Loans company even have or keep medical records??

    Okay, so you might say they need them to weigh up risk when lending for such long periods, but a) I thought everyone qualified for a loan so long as you meet certain (non-medical related) requirements, and b) why do they need to keep them once you're approved?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Timmay

      "Why does the Student Loans company even have or keep medical records?"

      See the article bootnote :-) I imagine someone applied for a Disabled Student Allowance (which doesn't have to be paid back) and their files were scanned and added to a complete stranger's account.

      C.

      1. Timmay

        Re: Timmay

        BAH, the bootnote wasn't there before!!!

    2. Ted Treen
      Devil

      Of FAR more interest...

      ...would be the psychological profiles of the scum high-ups in the banks & loan companies who prey upon cater to students.

      Any takers on almost 100% psychopaths?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accidentally given to others on several occasions.

    Once, maybe twice is an accident. Several times is not.

    Note: The article keeps changing, the string quoted in this title isn't there any more.

    1. Timmay

      Re: Accidentally given to others on several occasions.

      > The article keeps changing, the string quoted in this title isn't there any more.

      Otherwise known as "developing news"

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: The article keeps changing

      Yes, this isn't print.

      C.

      1. smudge Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: The article keeps changing

        But neither is it the Ministry of Truth :)

      2. Allan 1

        Re: The article keeps changing

        Once published, the article should be static except for spelling corrections ofc. Error correction should be via a strikethrough, so any comments made don't suddenly look weird as the part they were commenting about is suddenly missing.

        Its not print, but it is press.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: The article keeps changing

          "so any comments made don't suddenly look weird"

          Better: email corrections@theregister with reports of typos, grammatical errors, inaccuracies and unclear wording - then we can fix the problem immediately rather than read every single comment. We get those emails straight away.

          Also: articles are more or less static once published, but in the same way newspapers produced 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions for each daily issue, there may be, if necessary, some tweaking soon after publication – mainly to insert bootnotes, run a better headline, add extra detail, clarify things, etc.

          Substantial updates, or new developments, are flagged up as such, and it's policy to leave archived stories as-is. But having left the newsprint world and embraced the web, I cannot fathom why you'd not want to take advantage of instant publishing to make articles as fresh and clean as possible.

          C.

          1. Fibbles

            Re: The article keeps changing

            "But having left the newsprint world and embraced the web, I cannot fathom why you'd not want to take advantage of instant publishing to make articles as fresh and clean as possible."

            Because the article is a record of what The Register reported. If you modify the article after publication without indicating those modifications in some way then any quotations from or references to it gain the appearance of being inaccurate. The only way to prove otherwise is to hope some third-party has archived the article in its original state.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: The article keeps changing

              How about timestamped edit links to track the changes since first published?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fines are no use

    Directors medical records should be released to the public domain, so they can feel how their clients do, if they do it again release their tax records too.

    1. Fogcat

      Re: Fines are no use

      As someone who has had to deal with with these numpties (two children who have been through degrees and one now working overseas) I'm not in the slightest surprised that they they can't keep confidential data under control. They can't even find information you've already given them.

      Plus the fact they are very keen to send out letters from what appears to be the Smith Lawson & Company debt collection company but is actually part of SLC.

      They're a monopoly why isn't there a choice?

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Fines are no use

        "They're a monopoly, why isn't there a choice?"

        Is there anything stopping another company offering loans to students? (Genuine question, I have no idea. Although I do owe them lots of money, I'm not sure how much as they have stopped sending me any updates)

    2. Lamont Cranston
      Joke

      Re: Fines are no use

      Fines aren't a terrible idea - they could pay them to the students whose data they mislaid.

  4. Crisp Silver badge

    Why aren't criminal charges being brought?

    This is incredibly personal and sensitive information that they are giving away.

    Maybe it's time that the Data Protection Act got an update.

  5. TopOnePercent Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Toothless morons

    Why oh why can't the ICO grow a set of balls and start issuing deterrent level fines?

    Better still, lobby the government to change the law such that a company executive must be legally resposible for data privacy. This will allow serious breaches to result in bans from holding further directorships for a period of say 10 years.

    Seriously, we'd be better off without these clowns. All they're doing is providing a cloak of legitimacy to the inept, and queering the pitch regarding individuals being allowed to sue for breaches of the act.

    Softly softly is fuck all oftly.

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Toothless morons

      "All they're doing is providing a cloak of legitimacy to the inept, and queering the pitch regarding individuals being allowed to sue for breaches of the act."

      Good point, have an upvote.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    another argument against means testing.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    Still don't get it

    It's not their f**king data

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