BBC staff 'lose £120,000-worth of mobile devices a year'

Staff at the BBC staff have 'lost' 146 laptops in the last two years at a total cost of £120,000, according to figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Sixty-five mobile phones valued at £12,913, and 17 BlackBerry PDA devices valued at £9,106, also went missing over the same period, according to the FOIA request made by security solutions vendor Absolute Software. A member of BBC staff was investigated regarding a laptop theft, but the company was ‘unable to confirm if any staff had been disciplined over the losses’, according to a story on its own website.

Total losses now amount to £241,019 – equivalent to 1,656 UK colour TV licences costing £145.50 each, points out Absolute Software general manager Dave Everitt: “It is shocking that any organisation could lose so much equipment, but the BBC is just one of many we have seen recently; in its case, however, this technology is paid for by the licence payer, [and so BBC] employees should be far more careful about how they handle it.”

The BBC confirmed that 15 laptops, three mobiles phones, and a single BlackBerry – together valued at £23,450 – were later recovered, and added that once a theft, suspected theft, or loss has been reported, ‘data security breach procedures are invoked as necessary’, reports information published into the public domain by Absolute Software. It is not clear at this time how many of these – if any – were returned to service within the organisation before new replacements were procured.

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