1. Editor's Note: Beware The Broker 2. Today's Top Story - Firefox Grows To 15% Of U.S. Web Browser Market 3. Breaking News - Sun Banks On 'Uniqueness' Of New Server Offerings - Microsoft Says Hosted CRM Apps Due By Mid-2007 - SOA Repository Locates Processes - Pumping Up Online Music, Video Ads - Hollywood Victory In Film-Sanitizing Suit Imperils Mash-Ups - Microsoft Updates Small-Business Windows Bundle - Prosecutors: UBS Sys Admin Believed 'He Had Created The Perfect Crime' - At A Glance: The UBS Computer Sabotage Trial 4. Grab Bag: Giant Plasma TVs; A USB Key Is Calling - World's Largest Plasma TV Goes On Sale (Sci-Tech Today) - Sandisk Adds Internet Phone Calls To USB Keys (Computeractive) 5. In Depth: Data Brokers Under The Microscope - Data Brokers Draw Increased Scrutiny - Data Brokers, Their Customers Spark Congress' Ire - IRS Tax Data Plans Drawing Fire - The High Cost Of Data Loss 6. Voice Of Authority - Why India's Wage Inflation Won't Bring Outsourced Tech Jobs Back To The U.S. 7. White Papers - Blended Security Threats: What Are They, And How Can You Stop Them? 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote Of The Day: "Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status." — Laurence J. Peter
1. Editor's Note: Beware The Broker
Want a list of 3,877 charity donors in Detroit? USAData will sell it to you for $465.24. How about 3,797 cat owners in Peoria? Available for $455.64. Interested in data on graduating high school seniors? The College Board sells that to 1,700 colleges and universities for 28 cents a kid. Then there are those who obtain cell phone and credit card records illegally and sell them to private investigators, law enforcement, and angry spouses planning a divorce.
The multibillion-dollar data brokering industry is not only growing rapidly, but the chains of data buyers and sellers are getting longer and longer. Sellers of consumer marketing data, from industry giants like Acxiom and ChoicePoint down to companies that sell marketing lists online, swear they take every precaution to protect the data they hold and sell it only to businesses that won't misuse the information or leave it vulnerable to theft. But one has to wonder at what point the chains become so long that the links become weak and the promises of those at the top are no longer honored.
The aforementioned examples—included in a data brokering story I wrote—begin to show how many organizations, from publishing companies to educational institutions to federal, state, and local governments, are buying and selling data. What particularly surprised me was not just how much data is being bought and sold, but how many times data is sold, resold, then resold again.
The report details the story of Kate del Solar, who recently received notice from Sacred Heart University that her personal information, including her Social Security number, was subject to identity theft because of a computer security breach at the school in May. But del Solar doesn't attend the school and didn't even apply there. While it's still not clear how the school got her information, one possible source was the College Board consortium that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test and sells student data to schools.
It's incidents like this that increasingly have consumers asking, "Who has my data, and what are they doing with it?" As the chains of data brokers grow longer, businesses can expect to hear that question a lot more.
A more detailed look at this issue is contained in today's In Depth report. Please weigh in with your comments at my blog entry.
SOA Repository Locates Processes Fujitsu Computer Systems and Software AG jointly release a metadata repository that lets different divisions within an organization share service-oriented architecture-based services.
John Soat With 'News Or Not!' Vonage gets sued—again, IBM offers a Linux version of Lotus Notes, the FBI investigates online employment scams, and more.
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4. Grab Bag: Giant Plasma TVs; A USB Key Is Calling
IRS Tax Data Plans Drawing Fire Criticism is mounting over the Internal Revenue Service's plans to allow tax preparers to sell personal data to third parties.
The High Cost Of Data Loss Sensitive personal data has been misplaced, lost, printed on mailing labels, posted online, and just left around for anyone to see. The situation has become untenable. Here's the ugly truth about how it keeps happening, who's been affected, and what's being done about it.
6. Voice Of Authority
Why India's Wage Inflation Won't Bring Outsourced Tech Jobs Back To The U.S. U.S. companies outsource to India primarily to save money. But tech wages on the subcontinent are rising at about 15% per year. Many U.S. programmers welcome this news—as Indian salaries rise, it's less likely that their jobs will be offshored. Or so they think. But a conversation I had with the CEO of one of India's fastest-growing outsourcers reveals why jobs sent to India aren't coming back anytime soon.
7. White Papers
Blended Security Threats: What Are They, And How Can You Stop Them? This white paper will brief you on the issues surrounding today's growing computer threats and vulnerabilities, as well as introduce a new blended threat solution equation: Anti-Virus + Anti-Vulnerability = Blended Threat Security Solution. This document will show you how to protect yourself before you become a victim.
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