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Sweden's Security Shame

The shocking news that a Swedish military USB drive containing classified information was found loose in a public library proves yet again that even the most high-profile organizations are incapable of locking down their data.

It's only the latest entry in a long, sad, and lengthening roster: After headline-grabbing security snafus at retailer TJX, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Iron Mountain, the U.K. government recently raised the bar by losing disks containing personal information on some 25 million people.

Like the other organizations in the data protection hall of shame, Sweden's military clearly needs to do some serious thinking about its (apparently lax) policies for storing and handling portable media.

Whether it's the war on terror or maintaining sensitive consumer data, stricter security policies would have helped keep all of the above organizations out of the news. But as Sweden's recent storage snafu shows, this message is still not getting through. As a result, you should expect Byte and Switch to keep up adding more names to the pantheon of data protection miscreants during 2008.

We're keeping score.

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