Information Commissioner claims that companies should be careful when disposing of hard drives as reports of discovered data is 'very worrying'

The Information Commissioner has claimed that the discovery of confidential data on second hand computers was ‘very worrying'.

 

Earlier revelations were made that information for missile defence, banking details and NHS records were found on old hard drives that were bought randomly at computer fairs and via an online auction site.

 

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said that the Lanarkshire NHS data being found was worrying and warned organisations who give away old computers to be ‘really, really careful.'

 

Thomas told Channel 4 News: “We're very worried about the security of health records. Traditionally doctors have put the confidentiality of patient data at a very high level, and we welcome that.

 

“But we worry that more and more examples are coming to light where organisations within the health service have not been sufficiently careful; lost memory sticks, records being lost, laptops being lost, records being dumped in rubbish dumps and so on.

 

“As we move towards electronic health records across England we do have anxieties [and] we talk very closely with the NHS to ensure that they are taking security seriously but they've got to be very vigilant indeed to get security right.”

 

He further claimed that the biggest danger was that companies probably did not realise that their computers still had valuable data on them.

 

“This makes it even more concerning that they allowed their computers to go onto the second hand market in the first place”, said Thomas.

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