Is this new? Is this PRnewswire?
Well yes, those questions asked already are good questions.
The ATA-3 spec included password-protected drives, and that was some considerable time ago. Password protected drives would seem to offer an opportunity to easily prevent unauthorised access to data, when sensibly implemented by an organisation with a clue. The spec also included a "master" password to cover the "I've forgotten my password" scenario. Very few people know about this capability, and/or very few products used it - but the recent outbreak of clueless organisations who have lost unprotected laptops may make it suddenly more interesting.
One vendor offering this capability, back in 1998, was Compaq, who called it DriveLock. A Compaq technical whitepaper on DriveLock can be found ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/supportinformation/papers/na118a0598.pdf
The HP Compaq nx6125 which I bought a couple of years ago has DriveLock; I don't know whether it's in today's HP range or whether other vendors offer similar functionality, but it seems like a fairly basic requirement for a business-class notebook in an organisation with a clue.
One might hope that a competent "industry analyst" article might provide this kind of historical and market background, but a vendor-sponsored pure-PR piece might not be expected to do so.