Category Archives: Directors

Policy

This blog looks at the intersection of Information, Governance, and Compliance.  Normally, when one hears “Compliance,” one assumes it means compliance with law.  But Compliance also extends to compliance with policy.

“Barnes & Noble Cites Policy In Firing,” The Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2016 B1.  B&N CEO and a member of the board fired after a little more than a year for violation of a so-far-undisclosed company policy..  No severance package.  Ouch.

What sort of message does that send to the rank and file when the CEO gets punished for violating company policy?  Does that extend beyond the policy the CEO is accused of violating?  Is that why the specific policy wasn’t mentioned?

I assume this was for a violation more serious than failing to follow the company’s Records Retention Policy.  But aren’t all violations of company policy by the CEO equally serious? Aren’t all violations of policy equal, or are there capital “P” policies, and small “p” policies?  How does an employee tell the difference?

And the company chose to publicize at least the basic reason for the firing; does it do that in all firings for policy non-compliance?  Does the CEO have more or less privacy rights than the lowest-paid employee?

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Filed under Board, Communications, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Policy, Privacy

How to prevent contamination?

“Amazon Delves Into Health Data,” The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2018 B3.  Amazon buys a company with a bunch of personal health information.

It’s not like Amazon doesn’t have to deal with a whole host of privacy regulations, including the EU and, more recently, California.  But personal medical information is different, and subject to different controls.

How does a company that lives on finding relationships in large bodies of information deal with information that can’t be used freely?

We’ll see.

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Filed under Access, Analytics, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Policy, Privacy, Third parties

Warnings v. Controls

People knew the shooter in Annapolis was a danger to the newspaper.  Employees were warned.  Police investigated his on-line comments, and determined he is not a threat.  Employees were told to call 911 if they saw him.

Five years later, he kills 5 people with a shotgun.

“Newspaper Warned About Shooter,” The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2018 A3.

Maybe that’s why the police got there in under a minute.

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Filed under Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Government, Internal controls, Oversight, Third parties, To report

Verrry interesting

“Europe’s Privacy Law Fails to Stoke Demand for Cyber Insurance,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2018 B10.  Companies aren’t buying as much privacy insurance as people thought.

Certainly, in the wake of the GDPR rollout, the risk of a privacy law violation has increased.  Apparently companies think that they have adequate controls in place, and don’t need the protection of insurance to backstop their controls.  Insurance is a mitigation in case your controls aren’t totally effective.

Are these companies doing the same with other risks to other assets?  Or is you private data somehow different?

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Filed under Board, Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Internal controls, IT, Management, Oversight, Ownership, Privacy, Protect, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Security, Third parties

Inside job

“Tesla Accuses Former Employee of ‘Sabotage,'” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2018 B3. Did  a former employee hack Tesla’s manufacturing software and trade secrets and transfer information outside the company?  Was this for convenience, or was it theft?  Or to give to the press?

Do you have adequate controls to prevent this?  Or to discover it?  Who’s responsible if your controls fail?

Will the directors or senior officers be punished?  Did they fail in their obligations to protect the corporation’s assets?  Or is it just the shareholders who pay?  And pay, and pay.

 

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Filed under Access, Board, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, Oversight, Oversight, Protect, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Third parties, Value

It’s not just VW

Often, a corporation’s violation of law don’t result in a conviction of the senior officers or directors.  Sometimes it does, and when it does, that’s a powerful compliance message.

“Audi CEO Is Arrested In Emissions Scandal,” The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2018 A1. Executive jailed in Germany to prevent obstruction of ongoing investigation into emissions testing scandal at VW.

This goes to Governance, Compliance, and Information.

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Filed under Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Culture, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance, Oversight, To report, Who is in charge?

A billion here, a billion there

Eventually, you’re talking real money.

“Volkswagen Fined $1 Billion in Germany,” The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2018 B4. Fine for “dereliction of management oversight” following the diesel emissions-testing scandal.  Somewhat broader than a Caremark claim.

Will the directors have to pay anything out of their pockets?  Or just their shareholders’ pockets?

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Culture, Culture, Directors, Duty, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight