Hopefully, building on the last three posts9https://infogovnuggets.com/2019/01/04/catching-up-again/ , https://infogovnuggets.com/2019/01/04/catching-up-again-part-2/, and https://infogovnuggets.com/2019/01/04/catching-up-part-3/, this will close out 2018.
- Fake news
“Journalist at Center of False-Reporting Scandal Faces New Allegations Over Donation Requests,” The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2018. The first paragraph says it all: “German magazine Der Spiegel said it would file a criminal complaint against a former star writer who admitted falsifying reports, after discovering that he also appeared to have set up a fake charity operation for Syrian children.” One can only assume the paper had a policy about not making up stories, or not fleecing the readership.
- Morally but not legally guilty.
“JD.com Founder Faces Backlash at Home: ‘Behind the Law is Morality,’” The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2018. Even though released and after the closure of a three-month investigation into a rape allegation, the founder of a large ecommerce business in China is still getting hammered in the Chinese press (and, one might imagine, at home). Is that Governance, or Compliance? How does Compliance deal with an accusation that is not sustained?
- Libor was information, too
“UBS to Pay $68 Million to Settle State Libor-Manipulation Claims,” The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2018. Goes back to the 2008 charges of mucking about the the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate, used a lot in loans and such. Two aspects here, first dealing with the use of a number derived from supposedly unbiased people to govern “your” deal, and, second, the cost of non-compliance, even if long-delayed.
- Which was it?
“Maintenance Lapse Identified as Initial Problem Leading to Lion Air Crash,” The Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2018. Maybe it was not improper or inadequate training; maybe it was improper maintenance. Investigation into crash of Lion Air continues. Highlights the difficulty of establishing the facts after the fact. So much information.
- Why do you track the numbers if you don’t use them?
“Psychiatric Hospitals With Safety Violations Still Get Accreditation,” The Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2018. What exactly does “accreditation” mean, if you can have a bunch of serious violations? The failure rate is about 1%, and nearly all the inspections are by one company. This is primarily an Information point, on the failure to make use of the available information, or the failure to make it available. And does the government exercise appropriate oversight/governance given the amount of federal funds involved?
- Resume errors
“Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Incorrectly Claims Academic All-American Honors,” The Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2018. The Acting AG apparently made this error consistently on his resume for years; he wasn’t an Academic All American; instead he was a District VII All District selection. If he were genuinely confused about what he was awarded, this makes some sense. But one would have thought that somewhere along the way this would have been discovered. Is that Information or Governance? If it were an employee at your company, what would be the sanction?
- Information vacuum
“Commerce Department Won’t Publish Data During Shutdown,” The Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2018. One wonders what the consequences will be of the absence of this data. The article says, “Investors often depend on these reports to make trades, which affect stock values, bond yields and the value of the dollar. Businesses use them to make investment planning decisions. Federal Reserve officials depend on them to make interest-rate decisions that ripple through the economy.” If you rely on a third party for key information, what do you do when you can’t get it? What’s Plan B?
- Who owns the artwork?
“‘Absolute Control’: Cuba Steps Up Artistic Censorship,” The Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2018. Cuba severely restricts an artist’s ability to make money from his or her art. Sure, this is Governance, but is art also Information?
- How does your doctor make referrals? I want to know.
“The Hidden System That Explains How Your Doctor Makes Referrals,” The Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2018. Apparently, there are processes in place that might influence your doctor’s judgment. Would you want to know that? Is there an ethical issue (Governance/Compliance) that surround this information and how it is used? Is this conflict disclosed to you? Adequately? Do the insurers (who have money in the game) push back on this enough?
- Statements on Twitter aren’t facts?
“Elon Musk Says Pedophile Accusation Against British Man Was Protected Speech,” The Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2018. Calling a cave diver rescuing boys in Thailand a pedophile is at the heart of the suit against Elon Musk. Does Twitter have no rules with which one must comply, and no one to enforce those (non-)rules? Or do we have systems of Compliance and Governance that punish libelous statements, broadly published, regardless of the media/medium?
“Wells Fargo to Pay States About $575 Million to Settle Customer Harm Claims,” The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2018. More fallout from the account cramming and related scandals. Total payments so far: ~$4 billion. Cost of compliance, or cost of poor governance.
Filed under Access, Accuracy, Analytics, Collect, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Definition, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Lawyers, Management, Ownership, Use, Value
One profit model that seems to be working well is selling stuff that doesn’t belong to you. Cuts your cost-of-goods-sold dramatically.
“Facebook Considered Charging for Access to User Data,” The Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2018 (online). Facebook considered charging people to access user data.
Now, I guess that’s marginally different than letting third parties see the “Facebook” user data (i.e., the data of the users of Facebook) for free, in order to develop apps or whatever. But isn’t it still the users’ information? Oh, and it might be somewhat contrary to what the CEO said to Congress about Facebook’s policy of never selling user data.
Filed under Access, Collect, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, Oversight, Ownership, Ownership, Third parties, To report, Use, Value
If you are looking to invest, it would be nice to know if the broker who has been recommended to you has a history of complaints by his/her customers or employers. If you are the prospective broker, it would be good to be able to present a clean record, even if your record isn’t clean.
“Brokers Purge Their Records,” The Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2018 B1. Brokers can request that complaints be expunged from the records of the industry-funded regulator. So, were you to ask you would be told there’s no record.
So, what is a clean record worth, when a dirty record can be so easily laundered? I guess there may be multiple definitions of “record,” one of which is documentation of a business activity or decision, and the other of which is a conviction.
On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.
Who governs access to the White House? The Executive or the Judiciary?
“Judge Grants CNN’s Press-Pass Motion,” The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2018 A3. Reporter’s due process rights “appear to have been violated” when his access to the White House itself is restricted.
Who controls access to your building? To your floor? To your office? To your desk? To your computer? To your company’s information?
How do they do it?
In the absence of a written rule, who governs what behavior is permitted in a press briefing within the White House? The White House? The “press corps”? The courts? The Secret Service?
“UC System is Sued for Data On Admissions,” The Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2018 A2. Is the state university using race inappropriately in making admissions decisions?
The government has different obligations with respect to information than a private company. Government also collects a lot of information. What controls are in place to allow and to prevent the disclosure of this information? What about for non-core activities, like running the state’s university system?
Filed under Access, Collect, Compliance, Compliance, Controls, Duty, Governance, Government, Internal controls, Management, Third parties, To report, Use
“Beware the ‘Free’ Internet,” The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2018 A2. How much money do Facebook, Twitter, and Google get from allowing others to access you based on your data?
The article makes an interesting comparison to Wikipedia, where a large amount of information is made available for free, without advertising. That’s truly free. As opposed to social media.
How much is your data worth? To you? To Google? Do you agree with the implicit bargain, whereby you give use of your information in return for cat videos and an endless stream of ads?
“CNN Sues the White House, Seeks Return of Press Pass,” The Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2018 A3. Can the White House refuse to let in a member of the press into the White House for being rude?
Avoid for now the political implications of this, and what the First Amendment and the Fifth Amendment provide. Think instead about who can deny a single individual access to information, while providing access to 190 other people.
Who is entitled to access information in your company? What controls are in place to make sure that people who shouldn’t have access don’t get access? Who determines what those controls are? Who enforces them? Is part of this culture?
Filed under Access, Compliance (General), Controls, Culture, Duty, Governance, Government, Internal controls, Policy, Third parties, Uncategorized
“Trudeau Says Canadians Heard Khashoggi Tapes,” The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2018 A7. Canadian intelligence officials hear audio tapes related to killing.
One assumes that this is a tape of some conversation picked up by intelligence folks after the killing, and not a recording of the killing itself. Unless someone wanted to have proof for the boss. Perhaps intelligence agencies spy on other governments or phone calls.
Often, people think information governance is all about the written word. But the spoken word is information, too, whether it is recorded or not. It’s just a problem of proof. Is someone listening or taping your conversation? Would it matter?
Filed under Access, Accuracy, Communications, Controls, Definition, Duty, Governance, Government, Information, Internal controls, Risk assessment, Security, Third parties
“Boeing Withheld Data On Potential Hazards,” The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2018 A1. Did Boeing fail to disclose potential problems with its new flight-control feature? Was that a factor in the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, killing 189 people?
Maybe this feature didn’t factor into the crash; we’ll have to wait for the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. But if you know something and don’t tell other people who would like to know — well, that’s bad. Even if you didn’t want to confuse them by providing them too much information. Was it better “marketing” to tell their customers that they wouldn’t need as much training?
How do you decide how much information to provide your customers? Are there problems you don’t mention? Why?
Filed under Access, Accuracy, Communicate, Communications, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, Risk assessment, Third parties
In the macro sense, one of the bits of information that we own, manage, and hopefully control is who we are. How does the government control and manage this?
“Banks Find Solutions for ID Fraud at DMV,” The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2018 B10. Banks may use DMV databases to verify your online identity, because how you have to establish your identity to get a driver’s license normally involves you appearing in person and providing supporting documents.
Key to the process at the DMV is the trained person who checks your supporting documents. The banks want to leverage that person’s knowledge and experience, rather than relying on a bank manager to do it.
Where else in our lives do we rely on government employees rather than ourselves as a critical control?
Filed under Access, Accuracy, Controls, Data quality, Definition, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Knowledge Management, Operations, Oversight, Privacy, Protect assets, Third parties, Use