Monthly Archives: November 2014

Who’s information was it?

You trust your bank with your money.  And your information.  How do you respond when the bank starts giving one of them away?

“U.S. Probes Allegations Of Leaks At HSBC,” Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2014 C1.  Allegations that employees at the bank leaked confidential client information to a hedge fund.

How would the bank’s other clients respond?  How important is this to the company whose information was leaked? What about market integrity?  How does the bank restore its reputation?

Thankfully, the bank found the leak and self-reported it to authorities.  During the course of another criminal investigation.  Oops.

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Filed under Business Case, Compliance, Controls, Culture, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, Oversight, Ownership, Protect, Protect assets, Risk, Third parties, Uncategorized, Use, Value

Creative Commons

When you post your creative works online. Creative Commons offers an assortment of licenses to select; some prohibit commercial use, and some don’t.  Some people read those licenses; some don’t.

“Fight Over Flickr’s Use of Photos,” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2014 B3.  Flickr, owned by Yahoo, is selling pictures that others posted online with a license that permits commercial use, as long as the original creator is credited; Flickr doesn’t share the profits.  Some say this is unfair.

If you license your work, know what the license says and, more importantly, what it means.

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Two articles on content controls.

When Is Free Speech Illegal?,” Wall Street Journal. November 24, 2014 B5. Can your posts on Facebook be legally actionable, and, if so, who can take action?

Polygraph Critic Faces Federal Criminal Charges,” Wall Street Journal. November 24, 2014 B5. Man who coaches people on how to “beat” a polygraph indicted. [But if the tests can be beat, how does this obstruct law enforcement?  They’re either reliable, and can’t be beat, or they aren’t reliable, so who cares?]

What controls does your company put on the content you write? How do you know what those controls are?  Hint: read your Code of Conduct.

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Filed under Board, Business Case, Compliance, Compliance, Content, Controls, Governance, Internal controls, Legal, Oversight, Oversight, Policy, Risk

The value of analytics

What’s it worth to get information a few minutes before the rest of the market?  A lot.

“Startups Tip Investors to Hidden Data Pearls,” Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2014 C1.  Turning obscure data into a trading indicator by mining Twitter’s overall flow (a half-billion tweets per day), and buying and reviewing satellite photos to provide independent information on country economic growth.

This goes to both information access and information use.  What information do you access and use to make decisions?


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Filed under Analytics, Collect, Data quality, Definition, Information, Management, Ownership, Use, Value

What happens when your consultant blabs?

Most consulting contracts have a confidentiality and non-use provision, which prohibit the contractor from talking about the consulting assignment or using the company’s information gained during that assignment for some other purpose.

“Fallout From Gruber’s Remarks Spreads,” Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2014 A4. Jonathan Gruber and his remarks about the Obamacare process and the intelligence of American voters (or legislators).

Could this happen in your company?  Do you have controls to prevent it and mitigations to take if a contractor speaks his or her mind after the assignment?  Who owns this problem?

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Filed under Board, Business Case, Controls, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, Oversight, Oversight, Ownership, Protect, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Risk, Third parties, Value

A bullet list – 12

It was a full Journal this morning.  Rather than picking one, I present several.


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Filed under Board, Business Case, Collect, Compliance, Compliance, Controls, Culture, Culture, Governance, Information, Internal controls, IT, Management, Oversight, Oversight, Privacy, Protect, Risk, Security, Use, Value

Titles as information

Are corporate titles “information”?

“Our New Pastime: Job-Title Inflation,” Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2014 D6.  Baseball teams build a title infrastructure above the General Manager.  Not sure who’s ego is being catered to.

And I was struck by a similar quandary that came up in a recent episode of “Madam Secretary,” where the Secretary of State’s staff was struggling with the appropriate form of address for the head of a small nation (who also ran a bait shop).

Do titles fit the definition of corporate information, within the context of information governance?  I think so.  It is information used in the course of the company’s business, and as a legal matter a corporation does own the main titles, like president and probably vice-president.  Does the title have value?  Yes, both internally and externally.  Should the corporate exercise control over it?  Yes, and it does.

The point is two-fold.  Information is sometimes not immediately identified as such.  And I was struggling for a topic and this was the last page of  today’s Journal.


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Filed under Board, Controls, Definition, Inform market, Inform shareholders, Information, Internal controls, Ownership, Use, Value