Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Laptops and Handcuffs

Remember the old spy movies when anything of value was kept in a briefcase and the agent had the case handcuffed to his wrist? Well apparently, they need to start making handcuffs for laptops used by private auditors.  Just last week I wrote about how personal data for veterans was compromised by the theft of a laptop in Maryland.

This time an employee of Ernst & Young doing work for Hotels.com lost information from 243,000 customer who used Hotels.com during 2002 and 2004.(More Info)  What's really insulting is the time it took for this personal exposure to be made public. Hotels.com was notified on May 3rd, while the laptop was stolen in February.  Do these people not realize how valuable the data is on these laptops?  Sure, you can replace the laptop for $1000 but the data is priceless!  It's time for auditors to stay at the office to work or handcuff the machines to their wrist if they want to work at home.

This also demonstrates that your personal information is just as safe transmitted online as any personal or credit card information is.  It doesn't matter if it’s online, nothing is safe.  If you didn't see my previous privacy recommendation, (Click here).

 In researching this story, I discovered that this type of incident happens far too often.  It’s time for laptops to come with handcuffs or self destruct if they fall into the wrong hands. Andrew Brandt just reported on self-destructing laptops in the June issue of PC World.  
(More Info)

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