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News

British MoD loses laptop to thieves.

PGP (GB) : 18 January, 2008  (Technical Article)
Details of applicants for jobs in the British armed services stored on stolen laptop indicates complacency according to PGP.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that a laptop containing the personal details of 600,000 people has been stolen.

The laptop may have contained information such as passport, driving licence and family details, as well as National Insurance numbers, doctors' addresses and NHS numbers of people who have either expressed interest in, or joined the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Royal Air Force. It is believed that 3500 people's bank details were also included on the database and it is not currently known how the laptop was protected.

Jamie Cowper, Director of Marketing EMEA at data protection expert PGP Corporation, has made the following comments:

"With HMRC still fresh in the mind of both the public and the Government, you have to question how such a catastrophe could be allowed to happen again.

Though the Government has been keen to demonstrate the need to address this growing problem, it is clear that a culture of complacency still exists within the public sector when it comes to defending our data.

Whilst pledges have been made to bolster the ICO's powers and beef up legislation - what the Government needs to do now is look for an immediate solution - ie encryption. This is the only way to ensure that data remains secure no matter what happens to the device it is stored on."
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