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News

PGP argues that device protection is less important than the data it contains.

PGP (GB) : 15 November, 2007  (Technical Article)
Commenting on the recent proposal to levy large fines on Doctors for stolen laptops containing patient records, PGP believes that the emphasis should be placed on data encryption rather than device security.
A proposal from Information Commissioner Richard Thomas could see doctors prosecuted if they lose laptops containing confidential patient information. In a move to enforce data protection laws, this new criminal offence - if implemented - will see doctors fined up to £5,000 in a magistrates court, or an unlimited sum in Crown Court.

Jamie Cowper, Director of European Marketing at PGP Corporation has made the following comments on the news:

'On the one hand, this is great news for patient rights groups. Given the recent spate of data breaches at NHS trusts, perhaps Richard Thomas's approach of hard compulsion is the only way to get the medical establishment to take this problem seriously.

However, by placing the emphasis on protecting the device - specifically laptops - rather than the confidential data itself, he could be accused of treating the symptoms of this problem, rather than providing a cure.

What's more, it's not fair to expect doctors to be data security experts. Rather, to be entirely effective, the NHS should respond to the proposed legislation with both a programme of data security education and a systematic roll-out of data protection technology such as encryption.'
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