Lost USB Stick Costs Police £120,000 ($188,592.)

USB encryption

Greater Manchester Police has been fined £120,000 ($188,592)for losing a USB stick containing data on more than a thousand people – despite a previous incident leading to an “amnesty” on unencrypted memory sticks. The Information Commissioner’s Office fined the police force £150,000 – but offered a £30,000 discount for early payment – after an unencrypted memory stick holding data relating to an investigation was stolen from an officer’s home in July 2011. The device held personal data on 1,075 individuals with “links to serious crime investigations”. While the ICO admits not all of the data was sensitive, the ICO redacted even the description of the sensitive aspects in its own notification document. 

The officer in question – who worked mainly in the drugs squad of the Serious Crime Division – was given an encrypted memory stick by the force in 2003, which he used to back up his files and carry key documents with him when out of the office. However, the officer replaced the USB stick himself for a larger capacity one – but without encryption. Read More Here.

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