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ICO makes school stand in corner over data theft

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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. ®

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