Intel plans to release an anti-theft technology for laptops later this year, adding the feature to its Active Management Technology, which is part of Centrino vPro and allows IT managers to remotely access and configure computers.

In the event of theft, Intel Anti-Theft Technology will "basically lock the system, lock the disk, so people cannot be maliciously using and getting the data," said Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobility Group, according to a transcript of his presentation at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Shanghai.

The technology, which appears to render both the processor and storage inaccessible, aims to ease concerns over valuable corporate or personal data falling into the wrong hands when laptops are lost or stolen, according to Perlmutter.

The problem of lost data on stolen and missing laptops is a long-standing problem and a growing concern, particular for its impact on personal data.

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The anti-theft technology being developed by Intel would presumably give IT managers a way of protecting this data once a machine has gone missing.

Besides Intel, several other companies are working on the anti-theft technology, including Lenovo Group, McAfee, Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Phoenix Technologies.

More details of the technology will be made available when it is closer to being released, Intel said.