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News

NHS data loss further erodes public confidence.

PGP (GB) : 14 December, 2007  (Technical Article)
PGP calls for comprehensive implementation of data protection in public bodies after further Government organization data blunder in NHS Trust.
Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust has come under fire after a laptop containing the names, addresses, dates of birth, and phone numbers of up to 3,000 patients was stolen from a surgery in Newport. It is claimed that the laptop was password secured and also had 'three levels of protection' in place.

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

"Every time this type of incident happens, it erodes more and more of the public's confidence in the security of government systems. In the aftermath of the HMRC crisis, blunders like this just continue to highlight the obvious disconnect in public sector data protection procedures.

The ICO - Richard Thomas - has only recently suggested plans that would see doctors prosecuted for losing laptops containing patient information. While such harsh measures might provide some form of justice for the victims, the question remains as to whether Thomas is sidestepping the real issue here.

Essentially, data protection laws need to be beefed up and bodies like the NHS need to implement both a comprehensive programme of data security education and a systematic roll-out of data security technologies such as encryption. If the government is to be trusted as custodians of our personal information, the public has to have full confidence that lost or stolen data will remain secure."
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