I hate British TV personality Jeremy Clarkson. He’s just so damn… smug. He’s a jerk in the same way that Simon Cowell is, only he’s somewhat quieter and he lacks Cowell’s wit. He’s an America-basher that finds fault with anything my country does, yet he (apparently) feels that Britain is heaven on earth. He comes across as one of those Britons that still longs for the British Empire, and deep down he probably thinks the Union Jack is still flying over Bombay.
Anyway, as you might of heard, there have been several incidents lately where the British government has lost sensitive data. Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) lost a CD containing the names and addresses of 160,000 children. The week before that, the British government admitted that a government contractor had lost a CD containing the names and addresses of 3 million people with learner’s permits. And shortly before that incident, the government admitted that it had lost a packet of CDs that contained the names and banking information of over 25 million people – almost half the population of the UK!
As you might imagine, privacy activists in the UK were (and are still) livid over all this. In response to the activists, Clarkson recently published a newspaper article about how the activists’ fears are overblown. He called their cries “a bunch of palaver” (idle talk) and called the whole thing “a storm in a teacup”. And to prove that all this privacy paranoia was a bunch of nonsense, Clarkson put his real, actual bank account number in the article.
Almost as soon as the article hit the newsstands, someone hacked into Clarkson’s account and transferred £500 to the British Diabetic Association. This article from The Guardian notes that Clarkson, “in a rare moment of humility”, admitted that the stunt had backfired:
“The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again. I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake.”
He also added: “Contrary to what I said at the time, we must go after the idiots who lost the discs and stick cocktail sticks in their eyes until they beg for mercy.”
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer jerk!