Security fears over 3,500 passports ‘lost’ in the post

Donna Bowater writes in the Daily Express:

Personal details of thousands of Britons have been put at risk after their passports were lost or stolen in the post, it emerged yesterday.

Hundreds of passports have gone missing every year despite the Government’s switch to a secure courier service in 2004 instead of using Royal Mail to deliver the documents.

The official figures, which revealed that 3,500 passports had disappeared in the last five years, were described as “alarming” and sparked security fears over identity theft.

Dylan Sharpe, director of the privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “The Government is incapable of treating our personal data with the respect it deserves.

“It clearly makes no difference if the system is called ‘secure’ or not – in Whitehall if something can be lost, chances are it will be.

“How can they expect us to hand over our biometric data for ID cards when they can’t even run the current passport service?”