The UK's nuclear safety watchdog has admitted an employee lost a USB stick containing information on tests carried out at a facility in Hartlepool.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) also revealed that the USB stick was unencrypted but claimed that there was no sensitive data on the device.
"At the start of the EC 'stress test' programme, the licensees of all UK nuclear power stations committed to publishing their stress test reports, so most of the findings in this report are now in the public domain," it said.
But it said the use of an unsecured device was against the organisation's policies for certain categories of information and that work was being done to discover how this breach had occurred.
"The use of unencrypted USB pen drives is not permitted by ONR for transporting documents with a security classification," it added.
A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) told V3 it was not intending to investigate the incident but would do so if more information on the loss became available.
“At this stage it does not look as if he memory stick contained personal data and therefore it would not be covered by the Data Protection Act,” they said.
Nevertheless, the loss is just the latest in a long line of public sector blunders concerning data security as councils continue to bear the brunt of fines issued by the ICO, which has now passed the £1m mark.
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