BBC loses over £200k of phones and laptops

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A Freedom of Information report has revealed that £241,019 worth of gadgets including laptops and gadgets have being stolen from the BBC over the last two years.
To be more specific, BBC staff have reported the loss of 146 laptops, 65 mobile phones and 17 Blackberry devices between April 2008 and March 2010. All has not being lost however as 19 items worth a total of £23,450 have being recovered, leaving a final bill of £217,569.

The BBC is a huge organisation with thousands of external visitors every week and therefore the risk of theft is highly likely. However, computer security firm Absolute Software who submitted the request have remarked that the staff at the BBC need to be more careful and aware of their belongings, particularly as their technology is paid for by the licence payer. A BBC spokeswoman has stated that the crimes have being taken incredibly seriously and measures have being implemented to avoid further thefts. Whenever a theft occurs and is reported, the BBC investigation service is immediately involved and the police informed when appropriate.

The BBC also said that their mobile devices are “appropriately protected” and, if necessary, “data security breach procedures” were put in place as soon as a report about missing equipment was made. It does beg the question though as to whether gadgets such as laptops are protected to a high enough degree considering the quantity that failed to be recovered after the thefts?

Absolute Software have also commented however that the BBC need to ensure that they are utilising the technology that’s already installed in their laptops or smart phones which enable the device to be tracked if stolen.

Is this a case of the need for heightened security or simply that the BBC staff need to take better care of their equipment?

Ashley Norris