Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Survivors question the loss of their data

Whiteflowers campaign for the rights of survivors of child sexual abuse. They state:

"A petition has been raised by survivors, whistelblowers, child protection professionals and members of the general public that calls upon the Home Affairs Select Committee to bring Justice Lowell Goddard to account about the ‘instant and permanent deletion’ of survivor evidence at the time of a change in the Inquiry website between the dates of 14th September and 2nd October 2015."

They ask why there was no back-up system in place "in contravention of government recommendations on safe IT practice...and "condemn calls for survivors to re-input their information online and call on the Committee and the Inquiry to warn survivors not to input information until a full inquiry has been conducted and can assure the security of their information. Survivors need guarantees that the Child Sex Abuse Inquiry is a `safe place.`"

Phil Mair, an IT and Web Developer of Police Systems for 25 years, spoke to Whiteflowers and his response was updated on 19 October 2015..

"I find it inconceivable that any such data could be deleted instantly and permanently. The only way such a catastrophic loss of data could occur would be if it never made it from the web-based form to the intended location (be it via a backend database or emailed in some way)."

"This would mean there had to be a fundamental flaw in the system that collected and posted the data from the web page. Such a fundamental flaw would have been obvious from the start - ie a simple test would have identified the fault before the system went live, or as a result of a trivial (and necessary) post-implementation test .. basically: once the web site was made live, then all someone would have had to do was spend a few seconds trying to fill in a dummy form."

"If, however, they claim the data did reach its intended target (database or email system) then it would require both incredible naivety and incompetence during setup, and/or a highly sophisticated and deliberate set of actions, to destroy all trace of the data in such a thorough and irretrievable way. "

"This is such a ridiculous story that no one could possibly believe it."

See the petition:

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