12,000 barristers, witnesses exposed to risk of ID theft

Protecting personal data needs special attention.

Just when is this message going to get through to everyone in charge of personal data in the UK?

Despite the series of high profile personal data losses by government and third part contractors it uses, people in charge of personal data apparently still do not take the task seriously.

Every week, it seems, there is yet another incident. This week it has come to light that 12,000 barristers and trial witnesses have been exposed to risk of data theft.

Disks containing their personal details were taken in a burglary at the Bar Council offices is Holborn, London, according to the Metro newspaper.

The Bar Council claims the disks were encrypted, and I suppose they do get some points for that if it is true, but why were the disks accessible to thieves in the first place?

If a company is going to store 12,000 records on easily portable media like four backup disks and a laptop computer, why not keep them under lock and key?

One also has to ask what backup disks were doing in the office? What is the point of having backup disks in the same place as the primary storage disks? 

Not much use in the case of a flood, fire, or burglary…