Canada Dashboard Digest

OIPC: Theft of Laptops Points to Need for Encryption

DATA THEFT

February 5, 2010

Privacy officials are citing the recent theft of three laptops containing personal data on 8,600 Toronto teachers as an example of the need to encrypt sensitive material on all portable computers, the Toronto Star reports. The laptops, which were stolen from an Ontario Teachers' Insurance Plan (OTIP) office in December, included information such as teachers' addresses and social insurance numbers. To protect personal information, Ontario's Assistant  Privacy Commissioner Ken Anderson says, "we recommend encryption for all portable devices: BlackBerries, iPhones, USB clips even iPods." A spokesperson for the nonprofit OTIP says the organization is working to complete the process it began last fall to encrypt all its data by March.
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