In 2006 MI6 lost data containing lists of informers and agents relating to the drugs trade.
The loss occurred in 2006, in Columbia, when agent “T” lost lost a USB drive while on a bus. The result of loss meant that agents and informers had to be moved homes, and new lives started.
As has often been stated on this site, data loss happens, and loss of media will almost certainly always happen but its effects can be reduced or stopped. Using encryption, for example stops the loss being damaging. If encryption cannot be used by MI6, the home of James Bond and Q, then who, in the government then who can we expect to use it?
The incident itself is certainly not surpursing, after all the cases of data loss by the government last year. It just shows, once again, why data, and particlary personal information, cannot be trusted to the government, because they will misuse it (deliberately) or lose it (accidentally), but the effect will be the same for the end victim. The wrong people getting hold of their data.