The head of the United Kingdom's tax authority, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, resigned after it was revealed that two discs with information on 25 million people from 7.25 million families was missing.

Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed that the discs contained information on all the recipients of child benefits. That included the child and parent's name, address, date of birth, child benefit numbers, national insurance numbers and bank account numbers.

The British police have not been able to locate the discs, which were lost en route from one of the Revenue and Customs offices to the National Audit Office in London in October. So far, there have been no signs of fraudulent use of the information.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown ordered all government departments to examine their data security procedures in the wake of the data loss.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has begun a probe of Revenue and Customs' handling of data.

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