The incident has only just come to light, even though the incident occurred in January 2009. Interestingly the example is reported on a Saturday morning, just after the Wolvering data theft and the G20 summit, an opportunity to try and hide the news, or coincidence?
Those responsible for the data have made the honest, but misleading statement that the data will be “no use” to the thieves. That is almost certainly true; the average smack addict who stole the laptop is not going to use the names, address, dates of birth, and details of 33,000 people. However, who they sell the laptop to, who gets access the data afterward, that is where the concern is.
Once again, like virtually every other case of data loss, the data could have been secured by encryption.