Feeds

Trade body loses laptop full of driving conviction data

Speedy changes in data policy follow

The Power of One Infographic

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.

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.