Data protection seems to have become a running story in Ireland, or maybe it’s just that the silly season has pushed the stories to the front page.
Recent incidents include the loss of a laptop containing social welfare details of Irish citizens, a laptop containing confidential information about companies receiving support from the IDA, and a laptop containing details of blood donors.
In another incident, a laptop computer stolen from a Garda car held information on alleged criminal activity in Dublin.
The latest laptop computer was mislaid at a bus stop, it appears.
In some cases – the Blood Transfusion Board for example – data on the computers was encrypted as a security precaution.
In other cases, such as Bank of Ireland Life, there were no security precautions.
The data protection commissioner has described the latest incident as a ‘serious breach’.
Government spinners are peddling the idea that data on the laptops will be erased before they are sold cheaply ‘off the back of a lorry’.
But what I don’t get is, how can anyone forget a laptop?
A USB stick I can see, I’ve spent enough time searching for stray memory sticks over the years.
But who forgets a laptop computer?