Ireland considers “lose and tell” for laptop lapses

Jeremy Phillips

In “Mandatory reporting of missing laptop data considered” Conor Lally, writing in the Irish Times today, reports that the Irish Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern is considering introducing mandatory reporting when personal data goes missing on stolen or lost laptop computers and other devices. The proposed legislation would apply not only to Government departments but also to all other State agencies, as well as banks and other entities.

The Ahern proposal is an attempt to restore confidence following the revelation that some 35 Government devices containing the personal data of members of the public have been lost or stolen this year. The loss of any such device would be reported to the Data Protection Commissioner; in major cases the public would be informed too.

Although Ireland’s data protection laws comply with European standards, only three Government departments have fully encrypted their devices. another nine departments were in the process of encrypting, while two — Communications and Education and Science — had “not done so at all”.

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