Category Archives: Definition

Conflicts as information

“McKinsey Held Back Chapter 11 Positions,” The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2018 B1. Consultant advises in bankruptcy proceedings while holding undisclosed interests in the outcomes.

Did McKinsey not know that they had these investments?  Did they not have a process for checking for conflicts?  Or did they not care?  Did the lawyers not ask when employing an agent?  Was there no policy, at McKinsey or the court or the attorneys, about conflicts?

Maybe they need an outside consultant to review their processes.  Lots of really cool slides.


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Filed under Access, Accuracy, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Lawyers, Oversight, Third parties, To report

Car 54, Where Are You?

Is where you are “information”?  If so, who owns it?  Can one piece of information be owned by more than one person, at the same time?  Is this something unique about “information” generally?

“Phone Giants Cut Off Two Location Services,” The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2018, A1.  Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint will stop selling your location to two middlemen.

This decision wasn’t a recognition that your location is your information.  Rather, it was because one middleman allowed law enforcement agencies to see location data without a warrant. So, the phone companies are protecting your privacy from the government, but not from the phone companies.

One would hope that you could decide how and when your location data could be used by someone else.  But that is your decision, on your information.

Toody and Muldoon, where are you?


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Filed under Access, Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Information, Internal controls, Ownership, Privacy, Third parties

Down under

Banks normally monitor (i.e., manage) money transfers (i.e., information), in part to make sure that nefarious people are not transferring money to other nefarious people.  Apparently, they needed to monitor (i.e., manage) who their customers are (i.e., information).

“Australia’s Biggest Bank Faces Record Fine,” The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2018 B10. Fine of $530 million proposed for bank who failed to catch transfers of money in and out of an account owned by someone who left the country (Australia) in 1999 (and who “had also been charged in Lebanon in 2004 with belonging to a terrorist organization…”).

So, does “information” include who your customers are and whether they are charged as terrorists in another country?  How do you monitor that?  Just ask your customers to notify you if they are charged with terrorism?  Have them sign a form annually stating that they haven’t been charged as a terrorist?

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Filed under Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Requirements, Third parties

Extra credit reading

Interesting Journal Report on health care technology.  Several articles on new uses of information, or uses of new information, in order to do everything from brain surgery to looking after aging parents.


  1. “Augmented Reality Gives Brain Surgeons a Better View,” The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2018 R1.
  2. “AI Tools Help the Blind Tackle Everyday Tasks,” The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2018 R4.
  3. “Robots and Chatbots Look After the Elderly,” The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2018 R6.
  4. “Apps Promise to Help Avoid Pregnancy,” The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2018 R7.
  5. “For Those With Dementia, an Assist From Technology,” The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2018 R8.
  6. Doctors, Beware: You’re Being Watched,” The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2018 R10.”


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Filed under Collect, Definition, Information, Operations, Use, Use, Value

Bait and switch?

You make some promises, or strong indications, to a star performer that he or she is so above average, next year you will get ___ a year early.  [Fill in the blank]

How do you handle a change in direction?

“Goldman’s Rising Stars Told to Hold,” The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2018 B9.  Two years ago, a group of high-potential employees were told they were on the fast track and would get promoted before the rest of their class.  Now they are told there is no fast track this year.

How do you handle it when you have to tell your star performer that she/he’s not going to get what you told them they were going to get?  Have you just put your crown jewels into play?  How do you rebuild trust and confidence in your best and brightest?

Is this Information or Governance or just bad management?  Does it matter whether you told them in writing or not?  Is that a risk that was considered?


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Filed under Definition, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Protect assets, Risk, Who is in charge?

Programming flaw

If your business includes programming software to perform certain tasks, you no doubt have quality control processes.  Are those processes “information governance”?

“Software Flaw Trips Fiat Chrysler,” The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2018 B1. Short circuit could prevent you from disengaging the cruise control. Results in recall of 5.3 million vehicle.

Cost of effective quality control: unknown.  Cost of a defect: priceless.

Are these people behind the design of driver-less cars?

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Filed under Accuracy, Controls, Definition, Governance, Information, Interconnections, Internal controls, IT, Oversight, Technology

Bypass on the Information Highway

The President isn’t the only one who seeks to reach the audience direct.

“Musk Hits At Media For Tesla Coverage,” The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2018 B4.  Elon plans a site where the public can rate the credibility of news sources.

If “the media” continues to get targeted for fake news, where will people go for their news? Facebook?  Is it possible to separate facts from opinions?

What’s next?  Macy’s telling shoppers to go to Gimbels?  Cats and dogs living together?


  • What happens if your company loses credibility?


  • Does the medium color the message?
  • Is opinion “information,” or something else?


  • Can you encourage someone else to be objective?
  • Is the policy “all the news that’s fit to print”?  Or something else?

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Filed under Access, Accuracy, Communications, Data quality, Definition, Duty, Governance, Information, Policy