Category Archives: Oversight

Catching up

I was out of town for a bit, and am now catching up  So this will deviate from the usual one-story, one-post format.  19 squibs.

“ISS Opposes Five Equifax Directors,” The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2018 B2.  A proxy advisor recommends against voting for members of the Board’s technology committee, who had responsibility for technology security.  Is that all that happens, they get fired?  157 millions accounts exposed and they get un-elected but not (yet) sued?  No claw-back of director’s fees?

“Facebook Data Dispute Embroils University of Cambridge,” The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2018 B4. Cambridge says Facebook approved of the University’s use of Facebook data.  Or your data, if you wish.

“Fired FBI No.2 McCabe Misled Probe, Report Says,” The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2018 A1.  Misleading an internal investigation into leak to the newspaper is not good.

“Volkswagen Prepares to Replace CEO, The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2018 B1.  CEO who help VW survive the emissions scandal gets replaced. A palace coup after the company spent $25 billion+ on the scandal.  Is this more price for VW to pay?  And let’s not forget the shareholders, who foot the bill.  See also “VW Picks Chief After Boardroom Coup,” The Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2018 B1.

“Blunder Hits Samsung Securities,” The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2018 B13. An employee’s mistake leads to mistaken issuance of $105 billion in shares, more than 30 times the company’s existing issued shares.  Do you have the right controls in place?  Is this an information governance issue?

“Facebook Hearings Put Regulation In Spotlight,” The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2018 A1. Will the Facebook data leak/usage lead to new privacy regulation?

“Adviser Urges Shift On Board Of Equifax,” The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2018 B10.  Does the company’s failure to avoid a cyber attack mean the board has to go?  Maybe.

“China’s Censors Zero In on Apps,” The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2018 B4.  Chinese government extends control over a smartphone app that had crude jokes.  Now there’s enforcement of a policy, and a demonstration of what “governance” means.

“Zuckerberg Says Sorry for Harm Done,” The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2018 B4.  Classic crisis management strategy:  admit you’re wrong?

“Sensing Urgency, Facebook Bolsters User Protections,” The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2018 B5.  Locking the door after the horse bolted.

“Facebook Sets ‘Issue’ Ads Rule,” The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2018 A1.  Does a background check on advertisers protect your privacy?

“YouTube Policies Stir Bitterness,” The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2018 B1.  Following attack at YouTube HQ, taking a closer look at YouTube’s policies on filtering/restricting content.

“Facebook CEO: Lax Privacy a ‘Huge Mistake,'” The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2018 A1.  Not focusing on privacy protections a “huge mistake.”  Really?

“Police Want to Send AI Into the Street,” The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2018 A3.  Can body cams be used to collect “Person of Interest”-level information, real time?

“WPP’s Sorrell Faces Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2018 B1.  CEO of advertising company under internal investigation for misusing company assets.  It’s really just a question of duty.

“GM Scraps a Standard in Sales Reporting,” The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2018 B1.  You manage what you measure.  So, no longer reporting this statistic will reportedly make it easier to measure performance.  Huh?

“Oracle Defeats Google In Court,” The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2018 B1. Appeals court revives copyright infringement suit against Google.  $9 billion+ in damages alleged.

“Wedbush Accused Of Flawed Oversight,” The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2018 B12.  SEC charges company with failure to properly supervise an employee involved in “long-running ‘pump-and-dump’ scheme.”

 

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Filed under Accuracy, Board, Communications, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Culture, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Investor relations, Oversight, Oversight, Ownership, Ownership, Policy, Privacy, Protect information assets, Security, Third parties, Value

Don’t forget who your audience is

“Angry Users Are Threat to Facebook,” The Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2018 B1.  User reaction to the use of user data may imperil FB; users lose trust.

For a company recently valued at $500 billion, the loss of a customer base and momentum may be terminal.  Or at least painful.  Just because they didn’t take care of its users’ information.

Again, is this an information governance blog or a crisis management and response blog?  The issues seem to overlap a good deal of late.  Is this just a risk of the business, or does it say something about the company’s culture or governance?  What exactly is FB selling, and to whom?  What was their reputation?

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Filed under Board, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Culture, Duty, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Risk Assessment, Third parties, Vendors

It was nice being #2

“Nike No. 2 Executive Quits Amid Complaints,” The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2018 B1.  “Nike brand president and a potential successor to [CEO] leaves position after complaints about “inappropriate workplace behavior.”

Why am I harping on the numerous resignations and dismissals over allegations of sexual harassment and similar? Isn’t this blog supposed to be about information governance?

At the core of governance is what rules you have and what rules you enforce.  High-profile violations of the law or the Code of Conduct, by high-profile executives, catches a lot of splash in the headlines.  Are some aspects of the Code of Conduct more worthy of enforcement than others?  If the company chooses to penalize high flyers for some violations, but not for others, do you really have compliance?

Employees have a duty to obey the law and to follow company policy.  All employees.  All policies.  Even those pesky ones about information.  Or is the company willing to allow some employees to violate some policies sometimes?

What enforcement steps has your company taken of late for violations of law or policy?  Do you know?  Do the shareholders?

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Are you responsible for your brother? Your cousin?

It’s bad enough trying to control your own employees, and those of your agents (and vendors).  But how do you control the employees, agents, and vendors of your various affiliates and ventures?  Do you all have the same Code of Conduct?  The same policies on a whole host of sensitive matters?

“KPMG Scandals Stay Local,” The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2018 B10.  KPMG deals with alleged non-compliance at three international affiliates involved in auditing.

Does a client know the difference?  Do you ask prospective consultants about the compliance history of the larger firm?  Do you exercise enough control to also get liability?

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What’s security worth?

“Overstock.com Shares Fall on Crypto Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2018 B10.  After they disclose an SEC investigation into sales of digital tokens, share price drops nearly 5% (initially, it was worse).

I suspect the shareholders are not amused.  But will the compliance spending budget go up?  Are the tokens securities?  The legal spending will definitely increase.

Will the Board’s compensation keep pace?

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Raining, pouring

Wells Fargo has had a rough year or two, following the account-cramming scandal.  Then there was the auto insurance issue.  And the mortgage issue.  Now the rot has leaked into the wealth business.

“Wells Wealth Business Under Fire,” The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2018 B1.  A whistle blower reports on problems in the wealth-management business.  Investigation follows.

Shearman & Sterling, who wrote an earlier report on the account-cramming matter (and who may be taking up residence), is investigating.

From a governance standpoint, if you find one roach, expect to find others.  Perhaps an infestation.  Is it cultural?  Or not having sufficient pest control?  Was the Board napping?

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Shaking up GE

GE has had a tough year.  Or two.  So it’s making major changes in the Board.

“Embattled GE Reshapes Board,” The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2018 B1. Several directors removed after stock dropped 45% in 2017.  Eight directors retiring.

This this a reaction of their failure to govern?  Or just a reaction to bad results?  Will the new board act differently?  Are the shareholders better protected?  Or there cultural problems to be addressed, so the CEO doesn’t fly two jets?

 

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