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AT&T Admits That They Didn't Encrypt Lost Laptop Data

AT&T, the world's largest telecommunications carrier, has joined the growing list of companies whose reputation has been tarnished by a failure to encrypt employee's personal data which has subsequently gone missing.

"The fact that it's AT&T that has encountered this problem highlights the fact that no-one is immune to being hit by a data breach that could result in identity theft," said Michael Callahan, Chief Marketing Officer for Encryption Specialists, CREDANT Technologies.

"Our observations suggest that incidents like this usually result in a significant change of policy within the company. Although this can be interpreted as shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, the silver lining in the cloud is that a positive change of company policy on encryption is always welcome," he added.

Callahan went on to say that the data loss from the laptop, which was stolen from an employee during May, also includes details of manager's salaries - something that could prove embarrassing to the managers concerned, if their details find their way on to the Web.

"No-one likes feeling inferior and this is what happens when personal data like this leaks out. The fact that AT&T is now considering encrypting all personal data held on its laptops on a company-wide basis is, however, is a positive move," he said.

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 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.