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Unencrypted Laptops to be confined to offices says Whitehall

All laptops are to stay within the confines of Whitehall offices following the recent loss of a laptop (opens in new tab) that contained details of more than 600,000 people who were willing to or who have joined the Navy.

In an email sent to all government departments (opens in new tab), the cabinet secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, wrote "From now on, no unencrypted laptops or drives containing personal data should be taken outside secured office premises, Please ensure that this is communicated throughout your organisation and delivery bodies and implemented immediately, and that steps are taken to monitor compliance."

But, as PCPro puts it rightly, this does not mean that encrypted laptops won't be moved around and be potentially lost or stolen - still more frightening is the prospect of someone encrypting data and then not remembering the password.

In a interview with BBC, the Conservative party however claims that the number of government laptops stolen or lost reached at a grand total of 347, with a few more desktop computers disappearing as well.

The government has been hit by a number of high profile data losses including details of 25 million child benefit claimants and more than three million DVLA learner drivers' details.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.