back to article Organisations still don't know much about data protection

Over half of financial services firms do not know where all their customer and employee personal data is stored, according to a survey by auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Despite the fact that financial services firms hold extremely sensitive data on their customers, 54 per cent of those surveyed by PWC said that they …


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Three replacement phones for repairs etc

I got a replacement phone from Three recently while mine was in for repair... the phone still had all the details of the last user on it. The guy in the store just laughed and said, "oh read them if you want, but just delete them." I did mention something about data protection at him.. I'll be having several words with them when I go to collect mine for sure (although I will be careful to delete all my data before giving this one back!).



Is this the firm that audited satyam-maytas item?

Gates Horns

Legacy systems

Then there are the organizations running legacy software for which documentation, source code, and in-house understanding have all been lost. (The last via retirements and downsizing.) They run programs they don't know the function of, and aren't sure what their inputs and outputs are, but they can't risk not running them by virtue of the very same ignorance: no one knows what happens if you stop.

Naturally, no one knows what data is stored where and in what format by such software.

There's a physical analogy too: at one time, a crew of environmental activists methodically traversed the Chicago River (a notoriously polluted waterway) hammering wooden plugs into all the small, undocumented outfall pipes dripping filth into the river. Days or weeks later, something somewhere in an industrial plant would back up, causing rage and consternation.

Bill Gates, in view of the obvious lack of Windows documentation within Microsoft.


do not read it, do not post it - I won't even send it

a lack of knowledge about data protection is bad enough... but, as beautifully illustrated by RW above, our entire business strategy these days is one of crisis management where <<< absolutely no attempt is made under any circumstance to improve any situation within the workplace or the production line or the business plan or to our levels of finances or investments on the grounds that MBA students are all taught that there will be time enough to address any problem when it needs fixing >>> The current fix for a small banking and mortgage glitch is a classic example of crisis management <<< AKA - OFFS... quick, throw money at it >>> based on the simple premise that having starved the incumbent system of effective investment and support by systematically leeching every available profitable strain it MUST help the situation to give some of that cash back.


ha ha ha

and so we limp, like a terminal leprosy sufferer, from one mismanaged crisis to the next, constantly losing extremities <<< because there cannot be any profit in investing in silly things like "BAT" (using the best available methodology, equipment, technology) without that insane MBA mantra "NEEC" (without spending anything) >>> like they are going out of fashion and leaving only the soft core of our once vibrant economy and infrastructure to maintain and sustain the entire country. Where else but Britain would you see a train being transported by road?

ha ha ha ha ha - the biggest joke is that word 'economy'. The pound is the most depressed currency out there at present (making our goods and services MUCH more attractive to all foreigners) but we have also got an increasing trade deficit (we are still spending more and more abroad and making less and less at home). That's not an economy - that's a downward debt spiral. We don't have a source of raw materials to help activate our economy (except some north sea oil); there is no effective manufacturing base so we don't make anything to sell on the market; we have abused our education system for so long that it's good for nothing but generating sheep and our once proud banking prowess has been out-ed as the sham that it always was, we don't even make enough food to be self sufficient in a crisis. We transport glass halfway round the globe because it is cheaper to purchase and ship it from China than it is to recycle here and even the one recent growth sector - service industries - has been transferred out to India. We are a nation of useless 1/3rds who have given up our jobs in favour of living off interest... and there is no lump sum to generate that interest any more.

All that lovely cash - GONE - evaporated into a couple of very deep back pockets scattered around the globe. It's too late now, there is nothing left to amputate in order to try and stop the rot. Not only have the chickens come home to roost but we've sold the coop, burnt the straw and rented out the other shed to a bunch of exceptionally hungry foxes.

Anonymous Coward

@RW, @RogueElement

My 2 Zimbabwean dollars worth: ...when starting at a new contract, my first question always furrowed brows: "ok, show me what you've got, where it is, and where do you want to go from to get to where"... the usual BFO (bleedin obvious) question. One would expect a flaky .doc, .xls, even a crayon-inspired .ppt, but no...the answer is inevitably "Er Uh", as in "er, speak to him", or "uh, dunno", or "er, "its a work in progress"... ad nauseum.

The main thrust of the article was data identification and protection. Actually, might as well give it all to an external provider and go SaaS anyway, as at least they *have* to have some idea of where it is (SLA, penalty clauses etc).

@RW: offers rationale as to why this is... those in power to make decisions that affect the long-term viability of IT rarely have the capability to understand fundamental concepts: e.g. if you sell off the ground floor to a munitions expert, don't bet the farm on guaranteeing the structural integrity of the upper floors that you rely on for your business (they also shirk the culpability when things do go legs-up).


Vaguely related to the topic, but a poignant distilled synopsis of UK Ltd - fully expect to see this lifted and used ad verbatim in European parliament by a non-UK MEP member... should be hilarious.

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