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ICO to investigate BBC over 785 device losses

12 Apr 2013
Business man using smartphone as part of bring your own device trend

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed to V3 it is investigating the loss of 785 devices by the BBC that was reported earlier this week.

The data watchdog said it had not been informed of any incidents that saw 399 laptops, 347 mobiles and 39 tablets lost or stolen by the corporation at a cost to license fee payers of £750,000.

Now the losses have come to light, however, the ICO has begun making enquires to the BBC about the incidents.

“We have not been informed about any potential breaches of the Data Protection Act involving the recent loss of portable devices containing personal information by the BBC,” an ICO spokesperson told V3.

“We will be making further enquiries into the loss of this equipment to find out the full details.”

Although the BBC does not have a legal obligation to inform the ICO about the losses, the ICO has always maintained organisations have a responsibility to provide information on any incidents that led to the loss or release of personal data.

"The information commissioner [Christopher Graham] believes serious breaches should be brought to the attention of his office," the spokesperson added.

V3 contacted the BBC for comment on the ICO's investigation but had received no reply at the time of publication.

The revelations of the device losses at the BBC came to light earlier this week after a Freedom of Information by security firm Veracode.

Although 785 device losses is probably low for an organisation the size of the BBC, the organisation told V3 earlier this week it does not have any official figures on how many devices staff are issued with.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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