Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why the surprise about lost laptops?

If ever there was evidence of mainstream media complacency then the latest lost laptops at the MoD should provide a lesson. There appears to be, quite rightly, serious concern about data loss but the news that laptop and computer theft goes on is not new and the shock of the media ought not be there if they made a habit of reading Hansard.

A quick use of it's search facility online will produce ample questions and answers on the subject over the past year or so. The Home Office has theft problems, so does the DWP, and HMRC has lost 44 laptops in the last twelve months. The only reason this has suddenly become an issue for the media is because of 'Discgate' but it should have been an issue much earlier.

Theft and loss of Government computer equipment is endemic across the board. What might have been on stolen equipment is completely unknown, but hey, it might be nothing right?


Curly said...

So why is Miliband so horrified?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that this sort of thing keeps on happening myself? Laptops, files and CDs.

What next? Are they going to loose a minister?

I don't see that happening! M@

Anonymous said...

And why have HMO not demanded either encryption or a ban on laptops with data being removed from office premises. Con front bench asleep. Fox lacks motivation and should be removed.

dreamingspire said...

Des Browne talked about 'policies and procedures' when he should have added 'technical measures'. I'm indebted to a contact who pointed me to the relevant parts of the Data Protection Act. Schedule 1, Part I, The Principles, No 7: 'technical and organisational measures'. Then Sch 1, Part II, sections 9 and 10 which, among other things, have the get out of jail provision of 'having regard to the state of technological development and the cost of implementing any measures'. Well, yesterday we heard that the Cabinet Secretary has said 'do it', i.e. encrypt.

Anonymous said...

As is so common, the media distorts the real story so that it can make its copy deadlines and sell its product. Like you I work with computers and, while I'm shocked that people are so shocked by these stories, they have gained due prominence not a moment too soon. Hopefully now there will be some proper pause for reflection on the part of government and a rollback of the ID cards and identity database project(s).