Social services minister orders inquiry into credit card system data breach

The Greens blame outsourcing for the breach, which has affected 8,500 current and former departmental staff

The social services minister, Christian Porter, has ordered an investigation of a data breach affecting 8,500 current and former Department of Social Services employees, whose personal information was left open for more than a year.

The move comes after the Greens blamed outsourcing for the breach in the Business Information Services system which held expenses and credit-card information dating from 2004 to 2015.

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The Chipping Norton challenge for driverless cars | Brief letters

Alternatives to glitter | Driverless cars | Insects and birds

I am pleased that nurseries are considering the impact of materials they use in creative activities (A green guide to glitter alternatives, G2, 20 November). The staff of the nursery school where I was headteacher for 10 years would be appalled at the suggestion that edible material such as cereals or pulses could be used as an alternative. We thought that allowing children to play with food that would be lifesaving for children suffering from malnutrition was a reinforcement of the superior attitudes that prevail in much of society.
Elizabeth Martin
Bexleyheath, Kent

• The chancellor says the introduction of driverless cars will be very challenging (Driverless cars in four years’ time, 24 November) and those who drive for a living will need retraining. The challenge will be to train the driverless delivery van bringing my parcels when I’m out to proceed up the drive, squeeze up a 2ft-wide path, turn left to the side garage door and leave the goods on the bench. Oh, and to be careful reversing out.
Margaret Bruce
Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

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Uber to take appeal over ruling on drivers’ status to UK supreme court

Case to determine whether taxi app drivers get improved rights such as guaranteed minimum wage and holiday pay

Uber plans to appeal to the UK’s supreme court against a ruling that drivers should be classed as workers, setting the scene for a landmark legal battle with major implications for the gig economy.

The taxi app lost a tribunal case brought by two drivers last year and tasted defeat for a second time earlier this month when the employment appeal tribunal upheld the original decision.

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