Who’s in charge?

“Pinterest Bars Vaccination Searches,” The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2019 A1.  If you search for “vaccination” on Pinterest, you won’t get any results.  The company wants to prevent the spread of false information.

I’m not in favor of false information.  But who decides what’s false and what isn’t?  Does there come a time when a platform has so much power that it can no longer censor the information on it, or must assume liability for everything else on its site?

The Government couldn’t restrict this speech, but a private party can.  For now, without restriction.  You may agree with this restriction, but may not like the next one as much.  Is this Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Press?

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Two: Governance

Conflicts cost $15 million

“McKinsey, U.S. Settle Bankruptcy Dispute,” The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2019 B1.  McKinsey pays $15 million to settle allegations that it failed to disclose financial conflicts in its bankruptcy advisory practice.  That’s 10% of the fees the firm got.

Gee, if it only costs you 10%, and then only if you get caught, are people serious about reporting conflicts of interest?

Watch this space.  Expect more reports about this.

So, Information (conflicts) not disclosed as it should have been (Governance, Compliance).  What does it say about the culture at McKinsey?

 

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

Is the information true?

“Police Look Into Smollett Questions,” The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2019 A3.  Did the (former) Empire actor stage his attack?

Was this, like the Covington, KY schoolboy videos, news that was initially reported in the news one way, only to have fuller facts to come out later?  Are papers reporting the subsequent developments with the same vigor as they reported the initial allegations?

What does this say about the reliability of the information we receive and act upon, depending on who provides it and how quickly is it reported?  Is that a Governance question?  Or a value-of-Information question?

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Two: Governance

Profits for you or privacy for me? Choices.

“Facebook Bears Brunt of Tech Critique,” The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2019 B4.  Facebook accused of violating privacy and anti-competition laws.

UK Parliament moves to “rein in” companies like Facebook.

Did the Cambridge Analytica scandal break the camel’s back on the lack of effective regulation of the large social media platforms?

Governance and Information and Compliance.

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

What’s your process?

Information quality depends a lot on the source.

“Illinois Shooter Lied on Gun-Card Form,” The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2019 A3.  The shooter on Friday’s massacre in Aurora, Illinois lied on his application to own a firearm.  When the lie was discovered, the State revoked his card, and informed him he needed to turn in the weapon he had purchased.

How do your information controls deal with someone who lies?  How well do you follow up when you tell someone to turn in his weapon, before he killed 5 people?  Is four-and-a half years too long to wait?

What’s Information worth if you don’t act on it?

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance

Guessing your weight

Rather than having a computer count the number of bags on board, what if an airline had the baggage handlers count?

“Southwest Is Probed On Weight Of Luggage,” The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2019 A1.  FAA investigates how Southwest calculated the weight of bags on board.

Bag weight is used to determine how much weight your flight is carrying, and how it’s distributed.  Southwest, unlike other airlines, has its baggage handlers count the bags, rather than having computers do it.

Is doing something differently inherently objectionable?  Is the information, which involves an estimate in either case, more reliable, but also just an estimate?  If the computer count isn’t required by law or regulation, why should Southwest have to do it that way?

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Two: Governance

Theft

“Ex-Coke Scientist Accused Of Stealing Secrets for China,” The Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2019 B1.  Scientist accused of stealing can-coating technology worth nearly $120 million.

Is this part of a greater Chinese government scheme under the “Thousand Talents Plan” to reward people for stealing technology from US companies?

What do you do when a foreign government is trying to steal your intellectual property?  Do you limit the number of Chinese citizens you employ or what information they can see?

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Filed under Theme One: Information, Theme Three: Compliance, Theme Two: Governance