Reckless or repeated breaches of data security should become a criminal offence, a committee of MPs has said. Currently, government departments cannot be held criminally responsible for data protection breaches. But a report (pdf) on the "truly shocking" loss of 25m people's personal details by HM Revenue and Customs, the Commons justice committee demands tougher laws. The government welcomed the report and said it was considering measures to toughen up the Data Protection Act.
So the Government will fine itself. Brilliant. Government by signifier again. I suppose the money could come from the relevant departmental budget - but what good would that do except presumably reduce the effectiveness (if any) of said department ? It's like fining Network Rail for skimping on maintenance - thus leaving less money for maintenance.
UPDATE - David Cameron takes another leaf from the Nu Labour textbook. He'll soon have more of it than they have. This is a man who understands gesture politics as well as anyone.
David Cameron has defended his proposal to penalise hospitals for each patient who picks up an infection. In a speech, he said English hospitals should lose part of their tariff for each patient if that person contracted MRSA or Clostridium difficile. But the British Medical Association said it would put hospitals off treating the most vulnerable patients. Mr Cameron told the BBC "payment by results" was the best way to ensure NHS staff prioritised infection control.