80 Government Laptops Missing

Digital Rights Ireland: Today’s Irish Independent covers the revelation (via Ruari Quinn’s Dáil questions) that over 80 government laptops – together with other items such as USB keys and Blackberries – have been lost or stolen over the last five years. It appears from the responses to those questions that the laptops weren’t encrypted, but it’s not fully clear what was on each device. We’ve pointed out before that the State’s security standards for personal data appear to be extremely lax – suggesting that it’s essentially a matter of luck that we haven’t had private files compromised on as large a scale as the recent English loss of data on 25 million individuals. The Data Protection Commissioner is already investigating the lax culture within some Government Departments where snooping or sale of personal information is common – but past experience suggests that real change won’t happen unless there is public pressure for it.

2 Responses

  1. Perhaps they have Bertie Ahern waffle devices installed … same way as no useful data can be extracted from the Taoiseach.