The page 1 story is how Home Depot reacted to the Target credit card breach, but perhaps too late. “Home Depot Upped Defense But Hacker Moved Faster,” Wall Street Journal, September 13-14, 2014, A1. But that’s not the subject of today’s post, as interesting as the story may be.
Instead, I turned to page 4, for “Gun Law Gone, Debate Over Files Persists,” Wall Street Journal, September 13-14, 2014 A4. Unusual information governance issues, in a different context. Apparently, since 1935 Durham County in North Carolina required gun owners to register their weapons with the county clerk. The law was recently repealed. But what to do with all those paper records?
Leaving aside the politics, what happens to information that was illegally collected (assuming a constitutional violation)? Even if it has historic value? What if this were the registry of people of a particular religious faith?
Does the legality of the collection of the data influence the decision to destroy it? Maybe not a problem for corporations, but the government keeps a lot of information. That information was collected for one purpose or another and is now a subject for retention for yet another purpose. Who owns it? Do different rules apply to the government?
I guess this raises the right to be forgotten. But that doesn’t apply here. Should it?