U.K.: Government Has Lost 850 Laptops over 5 Years

By Matthew Harwood

The United States' isn't the only government prone to losing laptop computers; British agencies have the same problem, according to ZDNet.

Opposition lawmaker Sarah Teather discovered that more than 850 laptops have been lost or stolen from government departments from 2002 until 2007.

The worst offender within the government was the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), with 248 computers lost, misplaced, or stolen over that five year period. The Ministry of Justice came next with 148 laptops lost, misplaced, or stolen.

Six other government departments lost numerous laptop computers since 2002. They are:

  • Department of Health - 116
  • Department for Transport - 105
  • Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs - 81
  • Department for Children, Schools, and Families - 81
  • HM Treasury - 45
  • Department of Communities and Local Government - 28

Members of Parliament have also lost the handle on their laptops. House of Commons' members and staff lost 33 laptop computers since 2002, although 17 of the machines lifted out the backdoor of Parliament were new and never used, reports ZDNet.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported the British government lost over 1,000 laptop computers over the last decade. The Ministry of Defence, the worst culprit, had 503 laptops reported stolen since 1998.

These recent revelations only add to the fear that the British government is not protecting sensitive data and the technology that stores it adequately. Last November, two employees at the department of Revenue and Customs lost two computer disks which stored the personal information of 25 million citizens.



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