Category Archives: Definition


“U.S. Probes Supplier to VW,” The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2018 B2.  Engineering firm under criminal investigation for alleging helping VW cook the emissions tests – altering the nature of the information provided to the government.  See also, “Robert Bosch Workers Face Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2018 B3. (Similar allegations, but involving Chrysler).

Are you concerned about your vendors?  Do you make sure they comply with law?  Do you appreciate the data that confirms your own compliance?  What’s it worth to have that data be accurate?

Were this a blog about Crisis Management and Emergency Response, there would be an entry here about what you should do when you hear that someone else in your industry has been doing something bad.


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Filed under Accuracy, Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Definition, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Third parties, Value, Vendors

What’s information worth?

“Cryptocurrency Exchange to Pay Back Customers,” The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2018 B4.  Company to pay customers back $426 million after hack of cryptocurrency.

What is cryptocurrency except information that people agree has a certain value?  If that information is hacked, isn’t it the same as a theft of a client account?

No Christmas bonus for you, I guess.

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Filed under Board, Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Security, Value

Law school exam question

I was struck by the headline: “CFTC Takes Aim At Crypto Fraud,” The Wall Street Journal, Saturday January 20, 2018 B5.  The article is about the government charging people with fraud in connection with bitcoin futures.

Forget about the article for a second, as that’s not my point.  When the currency has no inherent value, is the information that the bitcoin represents itself something of value?  And that value can change.

I’m not sure the case is different for paper currency, even if backed by the full faith and credit of the government.  Is money something different than information? Why are money assets “governed” differently than information assets?  How is money different from information.  Discuss; limit three pages.

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Filed under Definition, Information, Value

Who captures the metrics?

“Nielsen Acknowledges It Misses ‘Live’ Streamers,” The Wall Street Journal December 7, 2017 B3.  Networks don’t get full credit on the viewing statistics (number of viewers for a particular show) for all the live viewers.  Apparently, those viewers who stream certain broadcasts aren’t fully counted.

What do you do when technology changes, and it’s harder to count what you’re used to counting?  How do you price your offering?  What’s your information worth?

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Filed under Accuracy, Analytics, Data quality, Definition, Information, Value

Wells Fargo, continued

“Wells Fargo Fires A Top Official, The Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2017 B1. Head of commercial lending canned because he said bad things to a fellow employee about regulators (and how they were affecting golden parachute payments) .

Think about that.  He didn’t write it down; he just said it.  Not outside the company, even.

True, his firing may have been expedited by all the other legal issues Wells Fargo has been having.  But he may not have gotten much of a parachute.

Information controls apply to unwritten information, too.

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Filed under Communicate, Communications, Compliance, Controls, Culture, Definition, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management

It depends what you mean by “lost”

When someone touts numbers, what do they really mean?

“Your Lost Luggage May Not Count as Lost,” The Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2017 A12.  The “official” figures on how many pieces of luggage each airline misplaces are different than how many bags get lost.  The government defines the operating statistics that must be reported.

Are your sufficiently critical when someone gives you numbers?  Especially when it affects their compensation?

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Filed under Accuracy, Controls, Data quality, Definition, Information, Requirements

Problems in your industry

One of the early warning signs of most crises is a similar problem elsewhere in your industry.

“EU Officials Raid BMW’s Headquarters,” The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2017 B2.  Raid was apparently looking for evidence of antitrust violations in the industry, perhaps including agreements on emissions technologies.

Is this related to the emissions scandal at VW and other car makers?

If you’re a European car manufacturer, does this raise the risks of what’s in your information systems and files today?  How can you address?

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Filed under Definition, Discovery, Information, Legal, Records Management