European Data Protection Digest

Intelligence Agency Loses Laptops

DATA LOSS—UK

March 19, 2010

A British intelligence agency's loss of 35 laptop computers showed a "cavalier" attitude to tracking equipment, according to a parliamentary committee report. A 2008 audit of the Government Communications Headquarters revealed the lapse. Three of the laptops were certified to hold top secret information, the Irish Times reports. "The committee considers that this...attitude towards valuable and sensitive assets was unacceptable. GCHQ must ensure that it controls, tracks and monitors its equipment effectively. In a statement, the government said, "The most likely explanation in most cases is that the laptops were destroyed but without the destruction being fully recorded. GCHQ has now tightened up its controls."
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