LONDON, March 31 /PRNewswire/ --

- Stonewood Group Launches Petition in Response to Survey Findings

89% of Britons believe that it should be a criminal offence for a Government department or private sector business to lose data negligently, according to a survey conducted by GFK NoP on behalf of the Stonewood Group, the world's leading designer and manufacturer of HMG CAPS-accredited encrypted hard drives.

In the last year alone, 29 million people have been affected by data loss from a variety of Government departments and public sector bodies. 61% of respondents felt Gordon Brown's admission in November last year that the current Government can't promise that every single item of information will always be safe was unacceptable.

Grant Gutteridge, a director at Stonewood, is frustrated that the message to protect confidential personal details is still being ignored. Companies and individuals seldom recognise the value of their data until such time as it has been breached or lost. The technology, is available and the data losses avoidable.

The Government isn't doing enough to protect individuals' data by enforcing encryption. Data needs to be diligently managed and stored on secure, encrypted devices. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) wants all organisations, especially those with large databases, to make sure that they are addressing all the risks of data handling, said Grant. All too often security is seen as a costly add-on and not as a fundamental core business requirement. If organisations fail to treat people's personal information securely they risk losing the confidence and trust of individuals, and the ICO has powers to take enforcement action against organisations that fail to meet their obligations under the Data Protection Act.

Following the survey findings, Stonewood plans to launch an online petition that will be presented to the Government to help raise the issue of security, coinciding with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) Personal Information Promise, a separate initiative to address data security and encourage safer data handling. The voluntary charter aims to enable businesses and Government departments to demonstrate their organisations' senior-level commitment to data protection.

If you wish to sign the petition to call on the Government to ensure data is diligently managed and stored on secure, encrypted devices, please click on the following link:

About Stonewood:

Contact: Zara Lintin +44(0)2070332660

Contact: Zara Lintin, +44(0)2070332660,