Stolen laptops

uwstudent (via The Record) has a brief story on some stolen laptops here at UW. Doesn’t look like there’s much personal data on there, but this line: “The personal information in the computers is password protected and is not retrievable” (from Martin van Nierop, who’s not really a techie so I assume it was given to him from somebody else) is a red flag. What sort of password? What assurances do the people whose information got stolen have that the data really is safe?
I’m disappointed, I’d have liked to have thought that our world-class institution would be a world leader in terms of fessing up when things go wrong. I guess what it really means is we’ll follow along with the rest of the world. That line’s getting to be as bad as “going out and giving 110%” is in sports.
Edit: 570News has a story on this too. Same story: “UW says the data is protected by a password and is not retrievable.”