Feeds

Manchester plods cop £120k fine for USB-stick-inna-wallet data gaffe

Serious Serious Crime crime 'sends shivers down spine'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Greater Manchester Police Force have paid a £120,000 fine after losing the details of more than a thousand people under investigation for serious drugs crime.

The personal details were kept on an unencrypted memory stick with no password protection, belonging to an officer with the Serious Crime Division team. Kept in the officer's wallet it went AWOL in July 2011 after the wallet was swiped from his kitchen table when his home was burgled.

It contained the details of 1,075 people who had been investigated by the drugs squad over the past 11 years.

The weight of the fine from the Information Commissioners Office reflects endemic data security problems that the ICO found in the Manchester police force: officers regularly used unencrypted USB sticks and there were few checks on what data could be downloaded and taken out of the office.

A similar security breach in September 2010 had prompted no change in culture, the ICO said. In 2010 a businessman found a mislaid Greater Manchester Police branded memory stick that contained sensitive anti-terrorism materials.

And officers were still not sufficiently trained in data security, the ICO found.

A unencrypted stick amnesty by the force's data controller after the breach got back a haul of 1,100 devices.

David Smith, ICO Director of Data Protection, said:

This was truly sensitive personal data, left in the hands of a burglar by poor data security. The consequences of this type of breach really do send a shiver down the spine.

It should have been obvious to the force that the type of information stored on its computers meant proper data security was needed. Instead, it has taken a serious data breach to prompt it into action.

®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.