What would be an appropriate response when a government body loses track of discs containing sensitive information roughly half of the population in their country? Before you answer, let's add that the discs were mailed on the 18th of one month and the loss wasn't reported until the 8th of the following month.
If you said “issue a public apology” then you might just be British:
“British Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized Wednesday for the government's loss of two computer discs containing the personal data of 25 million people, saying there was no excuse and promising a review of data procedures.
The two discs contained the department's entire database relating to the payment of child benefits -- a tax-free monthly payment available to everyone with children -- Treasury chief Alistair Darling said.”
Thus far there is no proof that the discs have landed in the hands of those who would seek to abuse the information, but it cannot be ruled out as a possibility.
It seems like the government ought to be providing some sort of tax break or other compensation for those that lost their data whether or not the data is ever put to ill use.