This time it's a memory stick lost by Atos Origin with usernames and passwords for the government Gateway site.
According to the Financial Times, the stick was encrypted, and turned up fairly soon after being lost:
"It emerged on Saturday night that ministers ordered the temporary shut-down of the [Gateway] site after the loss was reported, although the memory stick was subsequently discovered in a pub car park in Staffordshire where the company is based," wrote the FT.
The Gateway site is used for such activies as tax payments and benefit claims -- not information UK citizens want to be compromised. The Department of Work and Pensions, which administers the site, took the incident seriously, and is now investigating the incident, even though the USB stick was encrypted.
It seems the government is taking data loss more seriously, which is a good thing. Companies with public sector contracts will as a consequence take data loss more seriously, which is also good.
However, the government still wants more data-sharing between departments, and with the private sector. It wants to put all sorts of data in massive databases, such as the National Identity Register, and asks citizens to trust it with that data, while losing valuable information hand over fist. Moreover, there are no guarantees how that information will be used in the future.