UK fines prosecutors for data breach in stolen laptops case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Information Commissioner's Office has fined the national Crown Prosecution Service 200,000 pounds ($308,000) for negligence in failing to ensure the security of laptops containing police interviews of victims and witnesses — some in historic abuse allegations.

The ICO says the laptops were stolen from a Manchester-based film company, which was editing them to be used in criminal proceedings. Some 31 investigations were involved, some of which were "related to historical allegations against a high-profile individual."

The ICO declined to name the individual.

The studio was in an apartment that was burgled, and although the laptops were password protected, the material was not encrypted. The laptops were recovered.

The ICO says the CPS "did not take into account the substantial distress that would be caused if the videos were lost."