The data loss scandals continue in Britain. The Ministry of Defence has admitted it is investigating the loss of 69 laptops and seven PCs in the last year alone, someof which contained unencrypted person data. This comes in the wake of the theft of a laptop from a car owned by a Naval recruiting officer earlier this month. That computer contained detailsof 600,000 people, including passport and National Insurance (Social Security) numbers, and drivers’ license numbers among other information. The Guardian has reported that Defence Minister Des Browne admitted that there was no indication the computers had been targeted for information, although the securityservices had been given a watching brief to see if anything was passed to terrorist organizations. However, a source told the newspaper that, quite amazingly, the Ministry did not have thetechnology to encrypt confidential personal information. The government has issued new guidelines for politicians and staff. "From now on, no unencrypted laptops or drivescontaining personal data should be taken outside secured office premises." The thought of horses and barn doors springs to mind.
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