James O'Neill's Blog

January 19, 2008

One of our laptops is missing.

Filed under: Privacy,Windows Vista — jamesone111 @ 1:17 am

A snowclone I guess, with films like one of our Aircraft is missing , and Thomas Dolby’s “One of our submarines”  (“One of our Submarines is missing, tonight. Seems she went aground on manoeuvres” ) something with a slightly military edge to it.

The latest evidence that when it comes to anything relating to IT the UK government achieves a rating of “Not fit to run a whelk stall” comes form the Ministry of Defence. According to the BBC

West Midlands police are investigating the theft of a laptop from a Royal Navy officer which held the personal details of 600,000 people.
the MoD said.  “In some cases, for casual enquiries, the record is no more than a name.  But for those who progressed as far as submitting an application to join the Forces, extensive personal data may be held, including passport details, National Insurance numbers, drivers’ licence details, family details, doctors’ addresses and National Health Service numbers.”

I watched the Lib-Dem leader on TV earlier and he got some good points over about the ID card and the database state – he actually used the term more than once. But if were  an opposition politician I would be demanding to know why  – when Microsoft have been shipping  Bitlocker in Windows Vista for a year, and third party solution are available for Windows XP (and I belive non-Microsoft OSes as well) – MoD officials are still carrying huge amounts of unencrypted data. (And if I were the Information commissioner I’d want to know why one person needed both casual contacts and a full set of intimate details on their laptop)

Vista Service pack 1 will be out soon. Now some people like to wait for the first service pack – it’s an idea which really belongs to the 1990’s but it’s still there. Sometime I wonder if it is a way of making Luddite behaviour sound like prudence. If your organization has sensitive data (your employees’, customers’ or partners’) then you’ll be in the news if you lose it, and you’re not using bitlocker or an add on product which does the same thing,  that would mean you’re negligent and deserve everything that comes your way.

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