From today’s Independent:
Official figures revealed through parliamentary answers show that in the last year all government departments reported at least 208 laptops, and a number of PCs, stolen. By far the worst culprit is the MoD. Since 2003 it has reported 420 laptops stolen. An MoD spokesman yesterday said he could not say whether the laptops contained sensitive information or not.
“This has to be seen in the context of a department which employs 300,000 people,” he said.
By coincidence, that’s around the same number of people who will have access to Contactpoint and, presumably, the national eCAF database.
Last October we found ourselves accused of ‘alarmism’ by the government. Amongst our (many) concerns aired in a Lords debate was this:
Baroness Morris of Bolton: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for giving way; I will be brief. One of the big concerns is that people are filling in eCAF forms on laptop computers. This is highly sensitive information that flags up that a child is vulnerable. Will he please look into this before he responds to us?
Lord Adonis: My Lords, I have undertaken to look into it, but the advice that we have been given is that the processes are secure. We do not believe that the concerns that have been raised are valid
Believe me, it will give me no pleasure whatsoever to say ‘told you so’.