Category Archives: Policy

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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Leaks followed by leaks

Following the user reaction to reports of the disclosure and use of user data, FB is losing advertisers.  Has the Good Ship Facebook sprung a Titanic leak?

“Facebook Pledges Actions To Stem Advertiser Exits,” The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2018 A1.  People apparently still prize whatever privacy they have left.

A least the story is below the fold.  But it is still on page 1.

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Ethics

When you need to hide relevant information from your clients, you are often doing something that’s not ethical.

“BofA to Pay Fine Over ‘Marking’ of Trades,” The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2018 B10.  Bank hid the fact that it was routing its clients’ trades through high-speed trading firms.  Millions of times.  Apparently, the scheme was well known by bank employees, and was to hide the bank’s practices from major clients who would have objected.  And they did it anyway.  Cost: $42 million fine, and a loss of a lot of face.

You’d think a bank would have a policy or maybe even a culture against lying, cheating, or stealing.  Who’s getting fired?

 

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Public utility

Is YouTube a public utility, subject to government control and with an obligation to serve all comers?  Or is it something else, subject to different rules?

“YouTube Clamps Down on Gun Videos,” The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2018 A4.  YouTube decides to restrict certain videos about guns and gun sales.

Once you open your business up to the public, don’t you have an obligation to allow legal conduct on your site?  Where else can you refuse to serve someone who wants to do something that’s legal?  Say, for instance, could YouTube forbid any use of its site by Democrats, Republicans, or Catholics?

Where do you draw the line, and who draws it?

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Who governs the Internet?

ICANN, which oversees domain names on the Internet, keeps track of who owns which website, and until now has made a lot of that information publicly available.  In order to comply with new EU privacy rules, ICANN is going to reduce the amount of information available to all but as- yet-to-be-determined accredited group.

“Group to Tighten Web Privacy Rules,” The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2018 B4.

Good luck tracking down the source of hacking or intellectual property theft, which isn’t easy even now.  On the other hand, won’t keeping secret who owns a website in a country with less press freedoms increase the amount of governmental transparency?  Who decides these issues?

 

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Uber settles

“Uber Settles Trade-Secrets Case,” The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2018 B1.  Uber pays more than $240 million to settle case, and agrees not to use certain technology on self-driving cars, allegedly belonging to Waymo.  The agreement not to use was worth perhaps $250 million.

How does your company make sure it isn’t using a third party’s intellectual property without permission?  Is this an important part of your compliance program?  How does your company manage its acquisitions of new companies, some of whom (or their employees) may not have been as diligent in avoiding trade secret theft?

How can you prevent people from bringing information that you do not want into your company?  What are your processes?

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Sending a message?

“Bank Fires Adviser on Conduct,” The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2017 B10. Morgan Stanley fires a former Congressman (Harold Ford, Jr.) who worked as a “senior adviser” after allegations of inappropriate conduct involving a woman.

The fired Congressman still works as a political analyst for MSNBC.

Does that send a message to the bank’s employees that you’re serious about your policies? What about MSNBC?

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