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Japanese electronics makers are stepping up efforts to plug information leaks in computers on rising demand from financial institutions and other clients concerned about losing customer data.

A number of models for corporate use are scheduled for release this fall that will allow data to be erased in computer terminals by remote control. Electronics makers are also expanding services to let firms centrally control information stored in computers.

Fujitsu Ltd. is preparing for the autumn release of a notebook computer featuring data elimination by remote control. The computer will be equipped with a PHS-based phone function that can receive commands to erase data, the company said.

Data may be erased even when the notebook is turned off and data, once erased, cannot be reinstated.

Much of the data loss at corporations and financial institutions has occurred due to theft and the loss of computers.

In April, Sony Life Insurance Co. said a computer containing data on around 140,000 customers had gone missing.

In 2005, after urging from the Financial Services Agency for data checks, financial institutions throughout Japan spotted a combined 8.63 million sets of customers data lost. Some of the data is known to have been released on the Internet as a result uses of file-sharing software.

Many manufacturers and financial companies now restrict the use of notebook computers outside their offices.

If concerns about data loss are fully addressed, an rising number of workers may find themselves allowed to work at home instead of commute.

“We would like to respond to requests from clients who want to carry with them the PCs (used in the office) when they are on a business trip,” a Fujitsu official said.

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