Royal Navy loses laptop with data on 600,000 people

A laptop containing personal data on about 600,000 people has been stolen from the Royal Navy, the UK Ministry of Defense said Friday.

A laptop containing personal information on about 600,000 people was stolen from an officer in the Royal Navy, the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense said on Friday.

The laptop contained information about new and potential recruits to the Royal Marines, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, and was stolen in Birmingham last week, the ministry said.

The stolen data includes passport details, national insurance numbers, family details and doctors' addresses for people who submitted an application to the forces, the ministry said. The laptop also contained bank details for at least 3,500 people.

"The Ministry of Defence is treating the loss of this data with the utmost seriousness," it said in a statement.

It is writing to people whose bank details were on the laptop and has notified the Association for Payment Clearing Services to watch for unauthorized access, it said.

The ministry is investigating the theft with the West Midlands Police. The laptop was stolen Jan. 10, but the ministry said it didn't disclose the incident immediately for fear of compromising the investigation. It decided to go public with the loss after media reports surfaced about it on Friday, it said.

The laptop was stolen during the night from the car of a junior Royal Navy officer, who now faces a possible court martial, according to a report in the London Times.

This is the latest in a string of data security lapses in Britain that have embarrassed the government and called into question its plan to create a central database of patient records for the National Health Service.

In November, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs lost two CDs containing personal data on about 25 million Britons. The discs, which were encrypted and password-protected, were sent via interoffice mail and never arrived.

The following month, the Driving Standards Agency said it lost a disc containing the records of 3 million learner drivers, and soon after that the Department of Health said that nine of its regional NHS trusts had lost patient data, including medical records for about 160,000 children in East London.

Des Brown, the U.K. defense secretary, will make a statement to Parliament about the latest incident early next week, the Defense Ministry said. It did not say if the information on the Navy's laptop was encrypted or protected by password.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?