Feeds

Trade body loses laptop full of driving conviction data

Speedy changes in data policy follow

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A trade body has lost a laptop computer containing the personal details of 37,000 people and information on 1,900 people's driving convictions. The information was kept on an unencrypted laptop which was stolen from a locked vehicle.

Repair Management Services of Blackburn has promised the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that it will improve its data security and that it will encrypt laptops or any other machines which carry personal data no later than next March.

Repair Management Services, which used to be known as MVRA, is a trade association representing car repair companies.

A laptop containing personal details on 36,800 people and information about 1,900 driving convictions was left in a car in a car park. The car was broken into and the laptop, which was protected by a password but not encryption, was stolen.

"Personal information is valuable," said Sally-anne Poole, head of enforcement and investigations at the ICO. “In this case, it also involved the details of criminal convictions which, if accessed, could potentially result in distress being caused to the individuals concerned."

The trade body has made a written undertaking to the ICO committing it to encrypting machines and to training staff in its information policies and procedures to try to ensure that such an incident is not repeated.

"The data controller did not ensure sufficient security measures were in place to prevent the unauthorised or unlawful processing of the data in question," said the ICO in the undertaking. "In particular the computer held data which was not protected by a minimum standard of encryption. The Commissioner has taken into account the fact that a proportion of the personal data in question related to criminal convictions and could therefore potentially result in distress being caused to the individuals concerned."

Because of the body's undertaking the Information Commissioner has decided not to serve an Enforcement Notice on it under the Data Protection Act in relation to a breach of the Act. It says that organisations should take "appropriate technical and organisational security measures" to prevent the leaking of personal data.

"I welcome the steps being taken by Repair Management Services Ltd and urge all organisations to implement the appropriate safeguards and training to prevent personal information falling into the wrong hands," said Poole.

See: The undertaking (2-page/23KB PDF)

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.