UK Ministry of Defence in new data loss scandal

Personal details of up to 700,000 military personnel and potential recruits exposed.

The Ministry of Defence and EDS are investigating the loss of a portable hard drive containing personal details of 100,000 military personnel and up to 600,000 potential recruits.

The unencrypted drive was found missing by EDS, the MoD's IT outsourcer, during an audit that was ordered by the Cabinet Office as part of an investigation into data security across Whitehall.

The investigation was ordered after government departments lost personal information on four million people in the last year.

The MoD drive contains names, addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, driving licence details and telephone numbers -- vital information for identity thieves.

It is not clear yet whether the drive has been stolen or mislaid.

Last month the RAF defended its failure to encrypt data on three portable USB hard drives containing sensitive information that were stolen from the RAF Innsworth base in Gloucestershire.

The RAF said there was no need to encrypt the data because the drives were held in a "secure area".

In July, the Ministry of Defence revealed that 658 laptops have been stolen over the past four years. It had previously claimed that 347 laptops were stolen between 2004 and 2007.

Nick Lowe, regional director for security vendor Check Point said: "The security of detailed, personal data of this kind cannot be left to chance. Portable discs and data cannot be left unprotected by automatic encryption, because they will go missing, be misplaced, or get stolen."

This week HP announced plans to slash 3,378 jobs over two years following its acquisition of EDS.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Simons

Computerworld UK
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?