Concern after RAF disks go missing

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has lost more data held on computer drives, this time affecting members of the Royal Air Force.

The three hard drives disappeared from RAF Innsworth in September of last year, and were apparently unencrypted.

At the time, the MoD said the drives held bank details and addresses of 50,000 service personnel, but a memo obtained by a BBC show suggested the data was much more salacious than that. The document said the data detailed infidelity and other "vetting" details about 500 staff members, a fact not shared to the Information Commissioner's Office nor Parliament following the breach.

It's not the first data breach for the MoD, though it may generate the most headlines given the information held on the disks and the way it was uncovered. The defence department admitted earlier this month that it has lost 28 laptops, four PCs and 20 USB sticks this year alone.

Late last year, two unencrypted recruitment laptops went missing - followed by a hard disk with similar details in a separate incident - while a memory stick with training data was found on a nightclub floor last spring.

In January of last year, the government assured parliament that the MoD had clear encryption policies, but the claim came as it admitted more lost laptops had not been locked down.

The MoD had not responded to our request for comment at the time of publication.

Click here to read the lessons the MoD should have learned by now about data breaches.