Prevent Daylight-Saving Time Problems On Smartphones
In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Making Up For A Data Breach
2. Today's Top Story
- Prevent Daylight-Saving Time Problems On Smartphones
3. Breaking News
- Cisco Warns That 77 Routers Are Vulnerable To New Drive-By Pharming Attack
- Overall, Trust In The Federal Government Is On The Decline
- CDT Analyzes Data Retention, Other Proposals For Protecting Kids Online
- Cisco To Acquire XML Gateway Provider Reactivity
- $1 Billion Contract Gives AT&T Key Role In GM's Globalization Effort
- Critical Vulnerability Caught In Google Desktop
- 'Bandido' Software Pirate Arraigned In U.S. On 2 Charges
- SAP Hires Software-As-A-Service Exec
- T.J. Maxx Probe Reveals Data Breach Worse Than Originally Thought
- Gates: Windows Vista Has Had 'Incredible Reception'
- HP Quarterly Profit Rises, Helped By PCs
- Dell To Pay $5 Million To Former CEO Kevin Rollins
- How To Secure Your Home Wireless Network: Part V
4. The Latest Inside Technology Blog Posts
- If The Stork Brings Babies, What Brings Digital Cameras? A Trade Show
- Voice And Mobile E-Mail Are Driving Mobile Enterprise Growth In Asia-Pacific
- Microsoft Rattles Anti-Linux Saber
- Intel Inside ... Health Care? You Should Care.
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Quote of the day:
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." -- Albert Einstein
1. Editor's Note: Making Up For A Data Breach
Do companies really care about the security of their customers' data? Quite frankly, not as much as they should, based on what's in the news. Lately, it seems, we've been hearing about all types of data breaches: retailer TJX, the state of Connecticut, Stop & Shop, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It's an epidemic, but don't turn to Johns Hopkins; an outside contractor to that health facility lost nine backup tapes that held sensitive
personal information on 52,000 workers and 83,000 patients. The data is "thought" to have been destroyed. That's not really very comforting if you're one of those 135,000 people. And that's a pretty big number.
One big problem is that executives give data protection a lot of lip service these days. But if you think about it, what choice do companies have? Shareholders aren't going to be really happy with, "Part of our cost-cutting measures include neglecting our customer data." In fact, these companies probably invested quite a bit in some type of business intelligence product. Data mining is all the rage, and for good reason. There are plenty of lucrative marketing opportunities out there, if you can make sense out of all that data collected. Identifying repeat customers, buying trends, and other information that can better your business justifies collecting some types of data in the first place. But some of what's collected seems odd. For example, TJX stored the license numbers of people
who returned items without a receipt. Now, what's done with that information? How often does a retailer track someone down using the driver's license number? Seems to me companies could simply refuse to make a return without a receipt (like Toys "R" Us has recently done). The point is, how much information is necessary, and how much is overkill? Companies are opening themselves up to more exposure by collecting too much information. It's all the more to worry about if there's a breach.
So, here are my Common Sense Rules. First, companies ought to only hang on to information that is absolutely necessary. That way, if it's stolen (TJX), lost (Johns Hopkins), or otherwise compromised (Stop & Shop), there's less to worry about, plain and simple. Second, companies should have possession of that data for only a specified period of time -- something that's currently mandated for credit card information, but apparently was ignored by some of the parties involved. Finally, there should be a Customer Bill of Rights regarding what happens if your data goes astray. The JetBlue debacle of last week in which airline passengers were stranded on the tarmac for hours -- and the resultant Passenger Bill of Rights -- could act as a model for this. If companies must make reparations
lax data security, it's more likely that they will pay attention to keeping it locked up to begin with.
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Microsoft Rattles Anti-Linux Saber
CEO Steve Ballmer rattled Microsoft's saber against Linux among Wall Street analysts. It's clear that he means to make threatening noises, but what exactly is under threat?
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