Daily Mail publisher loses laptop

The publisher of the Daily Mail has joined the ranks of the government departments it frequently slams in its pages, by losing a laptop containing confidential employee data.

Associated Newspapers which also publishes the Evening Standard and Metro and partner company Northcliffe Media sent a letter out last week advising employees and former employees that a laptop holding their names, addresses and bank account details had been stolen.

The letter published by the Guardian newspaper said the laptop was protected by a password, but that affected people should be wary of identity theft.

Like laptops previously stolen from NHS and other government bodies, Associated Newspapers suggested it was likely the computer was stolen for its resale value, not for the data it held. "The likelihood is that this theft was carried out in an opportunistic manner by a thief who will not realise that there is any personal data on the computer and who may just erase what is on the hard drive in order to disguise the fact that the computer is stolen," the letter to employees as saying.

Associated Newspapers have notified the police as well as the Information Commissioner's Office of the theft.

The Daily Mail has consistently slammed the government's care of data after the loss of 25 million records by HM Revenue and Customs last year, which the paper has dubbed the "Ministry of Mayhem".