Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hey Where's My Data?

The recent revelations of large amounts of personal data falling into the wrong hands are making the news.

Rich Lowry at The National Review hints at a possible cause:
Here is the congressional leadership strenuously objecting to the FBI searching a corrupt, cash-grubbing congressman’s office. There is the Department of Veterans Affairs losing the personal information of millions of veterans.
Source: Bloated and Incompetent (Republicans need to be cut off.) National Review Online by Rich Lowry
What is the VA Office data theft doing in such an article? Unfortunately, the event at the VA is not a technological problem or one to be fixed by regulation but one of human nature. Dude was probably under pressure to get some work done and thought he was doing everyone a favor by taking it home. Against the rules? Ah, no one will ever know, fits on a couple of SD cards and then its a snap to upload to my laptop, heck while I am on the train to NYC I can get a lot of work done. Of course, what dude didn't count on was a couple of smack or crack fiends busting into his house andgrabbingg that laptop probably pawned it for a hundred or two bucks heck maybe enough money for them to get a decent meal (after all the jones needs to be fed first).

Dude lost his job. Think of it, how many times have you done something similar? Broke a rule to expedite or ease something for yourself? Most of the time things turn out okay, but when they don't watch out!

At my current employer I have trolled their production system for particular customers. Actually former customers, myself and the Empress. Essentially, there is nothing (other than the time and processing limits on production) stopping me from doing this. I could probably dump their customer database take it home. However, to do so would be HIGHLY UNETHICAL (I have no legit use for such data) and most likely against the law. At the least it would kill my career (current one). However, there is little to stop me from actually doing this.

However, I wonder if governmental agencies have to go through the Sarbannes-Oxley gauntlet? They should.