Nine laptops containing sensitive data have been stolen from Middlesbrough Council's teaching and learning centre, the BBC reports.
From the article:
"Thieves broke into Middlesbrough Council's teaching and learning centre on 6 January.
The laptops were used by child workers and contained case files on children and their families.
The council said after consulting police they would contact selected individuals most at risk.
The information was password protected with some encryption."
PGP Corporation, an encryption company, said in a statement sent to ZDNet.co.uk:
“While this theft may have been entirely opportunistic, with the laptops already sold on, Middlesbrough Council now has to publicly justify itself because there’s still the risk that the sensitive data they contain could fall into the wrong hands. And though it appears that some attempt has been made to protect the data, the fact that they can’t say for sure exactly how strong that protection is will hardly inspire confidence in the parents of the children affected.
We see this ad hoc approach to data protection repeated again and again in both the public and private sector, but it really must stop."