Security watchdog the ICO is currently looking at 277 "data breaches" in the UK

Gary Cutlack Computers, Intellectual Property, Internet, Software Leave a Comment

ico-data-security-cases.jpgAt the moment it’s all about the bank crisis and how shares aren’t even worth wasting a match on burning the certificates, but cast you minds back a year or so ago. Back when there was only one issue on our minds – data privacy.

Since the numerous high-profile cases of last year, when the government couldn’t stop leaving discs, laptops and USB drives all over the place, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has received 277 new complaints and warnings about people’s personal data possibly being held in insecure fashions.

The NHS is the biggest culprit, with 75 outstanding cases of possible embarrassing fact-disclosure currently on the books of the ICO…

“Addresses of service personnel, police and prison officers and battered women have also been exposed. Sometimes lives may be at risk,” warned Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, meaning that this most certainly isn’t a laughing matter. That’s one thing we’ve learned. If people might die, don’t smile, no matter what hilarious thing you’re currently thinking about in your head.

Nick Cater, from data protection and recovery specialist Iron Mountain Digital, rubbed some salt into the wound today, saying “The data losses of 2008 signalled a weakness in companies’ security policies but further breaches in 2009 would signal a dangerous complacency and inability to learn from past mistakes.”

Here’s hoping that businessmen leaving USB memory keys in the toilets of gay bars starts becoming headline news again. Watching bankers staring at red numbers is starting to get a bit boring.

(Via ICO)

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By Gary Cutlack | October 29th, 2008