UK’s Ministry of Defence confirmed that a laptop was stolen from a Royal Navy officer in Birmingham last week, on the night of 9/10 January, and as a result, a large quantity of personal data has been lost.
The complete MOD Announcement:
After consultation with West Midlands Police about the impact on the investigation were the theft to become public knowledge, we did not immediately make public the loss of this data. In view of today’s media reports, we have, however, decided that it would now be right to do so.
The stolen laptop contained personal information relating to some 600,000 people who have either expressed an interest in, or have joined, the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Royal Air Force.
The information held is not the same for every individual. In some cases, for casual enquiries, the record is no more than a name. But, for those who progressed as far as submitting an application to join the Forces, extensive personal data may be held, including passport details, National Insurance numbers, drivers’ licence details, family details, doctors’ addresses and National Health Service numbers.
The Ministry of Defence is treating the loss of this data with the utmost seriousness. We are writing to some 3,500 people whose bank details were included on the database. Action has already been taken with the assistance of APACS [Association for Payment Clearing Services] to inform the relevant banks so that the relevant accounts can be flagged for scrutiny against unauthorised access.
Advice can be sought by emailing “email@example.com’ from Saturday at 10 am onwards. We are also in the process of establishing a helpline for individuals to seek further advice. The number will be published as soon as possible.
The Secretary of State will make a statement to Parliament at the earliest opportunity.