Feeds

Citizens Advice coughs to laptop loss

60,000 records go astray

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A laptop containing client information has been stolen from the car of an employee of Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland.

Up to 60,000 client records are held on the computer, which was stolen in the early hours of 5 December 2007. According to Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland, the data stored relates to people from the Belfast area who have sought advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau office within the city.

The amount of information held varies from case to case, but most records would include name, address, date of birth, and national insurance number. In a number of cases, some financial information is also recorded, including the client's bank account number.

In a statement issued on 7 December 2007, the chief executive of Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland, Derek Alcorn, said the organisation had informed the police and the information commissioner of the situation and would be writing to all the individuals concerned.

He said the data was protected by three levels of security, including a high level of encryption.

"It is highly unlikely that a criminal will be able to access the data, but people who have used Citizens Advice in the Belfast area should check for anything unusual," explained Alcorn. "We believe the information, even if it were accessed, would not on its own allow access to a bank account because banks require other security information and passwords."

He added: "It is a fundamental principle of Citizens Advice that people are able to deal with us in confidence. The theft of this laptop is highly regrettable, but given that the potential always exists for the theft of data, we have always sought to ensure that information is secured as strongly as possible through modern encryption systems."

In addition to writing to all those affected and providing appropriate advice, an 0800 helpline has been established to provide immediate advice to any individual. The organisation has also said it will commission an external, high level and independent review of its policies, procedures, and data protection.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.