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Laptop Losses Total 12,000 Per Week at US Airports

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posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:32 PM

Laptop Losses Total 12,000 Per Week at US Airports

According to a study of 106 major U.S. airports and 800 business travelers published by the Ponemon Institute and Dell Computer, about 12,000 laptops are lost in airports each week. Only 30 percent of travelers ever recover the lost devices.

"It’s staggering to learn that up to 600,000 laptops are lost in U.S. airports annually, many containing sensitive information that companies must account for," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:32 PM
Staggering, indeed!

That boggles my mind. Just the cost of the computers is enough to give me a headache without even considering the security issues that involve personal information of those who trust these companies.

Maybe these corporate lug-heads need to chain their laptops to collars around their necks.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 2008/7/3 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:36 PM
reply to post by GradyPhilpott

Or maybe staff need to stop thieving for the federal governments.

Aimed thefts any one ??

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:38 PM
reply to post by Dan Tanna

Could you be a little more specific?

I have no idea what you're talking about.

[edit on 2008/7/3 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:48 PM
So...a little more than half a million citizens lost their laptop in the past year or so. And they are obviously dependent on the internet.

And we are hearing about it now?

This smacks of propaganda or something else, because 600 million people wouldn't just up and let their laptops be stolen without a voice...especially in light of Feds: We will search through your laptop files at the border

I am full on sick and tired of American complicity to these unfounded search and seizures.

How dare they?!?

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:49 PM
Either alot of staff are stealing stuff, OR their is a 'theft to order' racket running where targetted individuals have their laptops stolen for specific agencies.

Targetted thefts are as old as spying itself.

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:51 PM
Bet ya less than one percent are macs though.

Plenty of Zunes from what I hear.

useful product

[edit on 7/3/2008 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:59 PM
No wonder there's so many available on ebay!

You're right. It creates staggering figures. Let's just say that the average loss is $1500.00. (Laptop, cords & pwr supp, case, etc.).

12000 x 1500 = $18,000,000.00 per week

$936,000,000 yearly!

A billion, ( with a "B"), a year! AND- This is only US airports. I wonder if it's similar in say Japan, Europe, etc.

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 09:01 PM
I don't think this has anything to do with theft or confiscation.

The Ponemon study indicates that most airport laptop losses occur at the security checkpoints or at the departure gates, where it's easy to leave things behind. More than 70 percent of business travelers say they feel rushed when trying to get on their flights, and 69 percent said they are usually carrying too many items while trying to catch their flights.

Los Angeles's LAX reported more laptop losses than any other airport, about 1,200 per week. Most of the airports said they generally keep the laptops for some period of times, then destroy them if they are unclaimed.

These are laptops that are just left unattended in airports.

One of the points of the article is that most of these losses reported by companies who are afraid of the PR mess that would result.

It's nice to know the airports destroy them, but airport employees have been known to engage in illegal commerce.

[edit on 2008/7/3 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 10:07 PM
reply to post by GradyPhilpott

Oh I thought they were getting lifted.

People actually forget their company owned laptops while checking in??? You only have 1 or 2 carryons!

If I were any of the companies in question I would be more worried about the employee vs the PR mess! I just can't imagine losing my laptop at a gate or checkpoint unless someone swipes it or one of my kids runs off, etc.

I'm sure there are cases where you couldn't make the stuff up, but 12,000 a week? That's incredible to me.


posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 10:12 PM
Sheesh with all the losses of personal property due to flying with major airlines, one might think about packing all their stuff and shipping it ahead to their destination via UPS or FedEx instead of carrying it on the plane or having it checked.

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 10:27 PM
I had some private data on a stolen laptop once. It was business related. Luckily I didn't go through any identity theft.

I think the problem is pretty big when you consider just how many names may be held on just a single device.

I think the article numbers are too high.

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 11:15 PM

Originally posted by MemoryShock
This smacks of propaganda or something else...

I think this is a VERY good question. But really, it's just marketing...and really, really bad science.

You can find it here --> ( Study.pdf )

On page three, in the footnote, it says:

Laptop loss frequencies were collected from a confidential field survey as either a direct weekly estimate or as a range variable as reported by airport officials. Exact loss frequencies were typically not calculated or available for review.

So in other words, they guessed at the numbers. There were no actual measurements made.

Looking at Q21 of the survey, it asks:

Have you ever lost a laptop computer?

Only one percent responded "yes".

I quickly looked up the annual passenger traffic for LAX. According to this source (here), 61,895,548 passengers traveled through LAX in 2007.

The study estimates 1200 weekly losses. Annualized, that number becomes 62,400 laptop losses. As a percentage of the total number of LAX travelers, the number is .001. Not very impressive, imo.

Playing with the math, you would expect there to have been 6,240,000 laptop carrying travelers. As a percentage of the total number of annual passengers above, that number is roughly 10%. Does anyone believe that? I think that percentage is way too low, and if I'm right, the scale of their numbers become even less meaningful.

My bet is this is a marketing tool for Dell to point to for its business and government purchasers. If you go to Dell, I'm just willing to bet there are all kinds of security features, software and tools one can buy.

posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 11:46 PM
reply to post by loam


I too looked up the number of humans who passed through an airline gate and came up with an astronomical number..

S7 Airlines completed more than 47,500 flights in 2007, an increase of 19% over 2006, and transported 5,698,109 passengers, a 16% increase over 2006. My Emphasis
Just One Airline

So the numbers are skewed. They are not in actuality a valid representation of the number of people who fly from here to there.

And only a percentage of them actually fly with their computers.

So if the percentage of people who fly with their computers represent the totality of the people who have had their laptops taken, then based on the numbers, everyone who flys with their computer gets it taken away....

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