ICO makes school stand in corner over data theft
1/10 for encryption - see me
The ICO has given an Oldham school a stern telling-off after an unencrypted laptop with pupils' details was stolen from a teachers' car.
The laptop contained "personal information" relating to 90 pupils at Freehold Community School when it was half-inched from the boot of the corduroy's car, which was parked outside their home overnight.
The primary school (and presumably the teacher) was, the ICO found, "unaware of the need to encrypt portable and mobile storage devices, although it did have a policy in place informing staff that storage devices should not be kept in cars when away from the school premises".
Sally-Anne Poole, the ICO's Acting Head of Enforcement said: "The fact that the school was unaware of the need to encrypt the information stored on their laptop shows that many organisations continue to process personal information without having the most basic of security measures in place."
Freehold's head teacher Joyce Willetts has signed an undertaking to ensure laptops and other portable media carrying personal data are encrypted. Staff will also be trained on the policy. ®
What about a policy of
Not leaving laptops in the boot of cars overnight?
My work laptop is encrypted, but I wouldn't be too popular if it was stolen from my boot because I couldn't be arsed bringing it inside my house.
Contrast with ICO's treatment of BT
who were ordered by a Court to encrypt acutely sensitive personal information before handing it to ACS:Law on physical media.
BT simply ignored the court order, sending the data as an unencrypted email attachment instead (and the result is spread all over the web).
No fine, no undertakings, no warning, no penalties.
Which raises the question ?
why issue laptops, if there's no homeworking going on ? My guess - the "L, LX, GLX, GLX-S" effect of company provided kit, which plagued the car market for decades, because most people had some miltary experience with a very rigid idea of ranks. Basic sales person gets the "L" model. Senior sales person gets the "LX" with 2-speed wipers, Sales manager gets "GLX" with an FM radio, and so on.
Most bosses get laptops because they are bosses, not because they need laptops.
As an aside, firm I used to work for saved on insurance by refusing to cover theft of laptops from cars - the user was liable. All of a sudden, people discovered they didn't need laptops.