When Alistair Darling prompted wide-eyed panic after announcing the lost discs palaver, there were few more concerned voices than that of our information commissioner, Richard Thomas.

At the time, Mr Thomas, the data tsar who, in the wake of the crisis, has spent the past few weeks issuing warnings about the danger of ID fraud on the internet, described the Government's blunder as "unprecedented and deeply disturbing".

So it has just come as considerable embarrassment to Mr Thomas to learn that he has recently been exposed as being just as vulnerable as the rest of us. In an experiment carried out by an internet security consultancy called SecureTest, it took just half an hour to discover the details of three bank accounts held by Mr Thomas, as well as his age, his home address and his work email.

"What hope have we got if Mr Thomas can't even protect his own identity?" says a spokesman for the company. "I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see if Mr Thomas practises what he preaches. It was easier than I could possibly have imagined."

SecureTest say that they were able to glean most of the information on Mr Thomas from Freedom of Information requests, and from a register-of-interests declaration he submitted when he took the governmental position in 2002.

Which makes you wonder whether Mr Thomas has double-checked his bank statements recently. His office insists that Mr Thomas "uses secure passwords for his accounts".

Source: Independent Online

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