Monday, September 28, 2015

Not much background, but another reminder to control vendors.
Justin Shafer pointed me to a case where the government, investigating a healthcare provider, served SaaS MicroMD with a federal search warrant for some patients’ data.
You can read Justin’s write-up on his blog, but the case reminds us that patient data can be disclosed to law enforcement without patients’ awareness or consent, and that unencrypted patient data – or data that are encrypted but where the vendor has the encryption key – gives the covered entity less control over the data. Justin writes:
Better IT security might have prevented the DEA from getting the patient data (disk encryption and setting a backend database password for starters), but when that data is NOT in YOUR control, then you are not going to have that much POWER.
Of course, the government could seek a court order for decrypted data or any encryption key, and they’d likely get it, but Justin’s point is worth thinking about in terms of defense against those not in law enforcement who may also be trying to obtain your patient data.

Perspective. Could any rational manager believe in another outcome?
34 Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Volkswagen
I’ve been working with NPR to discuss a number of the week. This time it’s 34 — that’s the number of federal lawsuits filed against Volkswagen as of Friday stemming from the German carmaker’s admission that it had designed cars to cheat pollution tests given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since 500,000 cars have been recalled in the U.S. as a result, the attorneys filing those 34 cases hope they will result in a class-action lawsuit.

For my IT Governance students. Your “policy” is not just what you wrote down. (Implications for Hillary?)
Here’s another good reason (as if we needed more!) as to why firms should not retain and store data past its usefulness. Hunton & Williams explains:
Companies should remember that their information governance practices may have significant financial repercussions if they become involved in litigation. One court in the District of Nevada recently took a novel approach to analyzing the accessibility of emails stored on backup tape. In United States ex rel Guardiola v. Renown Health, i the United States District Court for the District of Nevada opined that Renown’s business practice of retaining email older than six months on backup tape foreclosed it from successfully arguing that the emails were shielded from discovery as not reasonably accessible because of burden or cost. The court also refused to shift to the requesting party the cost of restoration and review of the email at issue. A key element to this decision was the court’s perception that Renown’s email archival practices were out-of-date, and it also considered the use of backup tapes for recordkeeping without consideration to “the risk of litigation and corresponding discovery obligations” a nonsensible choice. What is unique about this decision is that the court focused on Renown’s business decisions on how to manage its information in the absence of pending discovery, and determined those pre-litigation business decisions were the critical factor to prevent the company from avoiding discoverability of documents archived per those decisions.
Read more on Lexology.

Perspective. “If you are not connected, we can't push ads to you.” And apparently it is cheaper to connect all of India than the rest of the US.
Google to set up Wi-Fi in 400 Indian railway stations
… The Internet giant is working with the Indian Railways and RailTel, a government-owned provider of telecommunications infrastructure to the railways, to initially cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016. The first stations are expected to come online in the coming months.
"Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day," wrote Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a blog post. The service will be offered free initially, but the aim is to make the project eventually self-sustainable, so as to provide Wi-Fi to more stations and other places, he added.
… India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Google's headquarters on Sunday as part of his effort to drum up support from Silicon Valley companies for his Digital India project, which aims to connect more Indians through the Internet.
"We want our 1.25 billion citizens to be digitally connected. We already have broadband usage across India go up by 63 percent last year. We need to accelerate this further," Modi told Silicon Valley executives at a dinner in San Jose on Saturday.
The country has launched an aggressive expansion of the national optical fibre network that will take broadband to 600,000 villages, he told the executives, according to India's Press Information Bureau.

For student presentations? You can build one for free.
Create Interactive Timelines with Tiki-Toki
Timelines are an excellent way for students to organize information for their own understanding or to demonstrate their learning. Tiki-Toki allows students to create free, interactive timelines on a topic of their choosing. In addition to free accounts, educational accounts are available at a heavily discounted price that allow for more advanced features. Timelines can be kept private, shared with a link, published publicly, or even embedded into websites or blogs. Students can also collaborate on a single timeline together with a classroom model.
You can easily add content such as text, dates, images, and video. Each event on a timeline can include multiple media files. It’s easy to tweak the visual appearance of the timeline so that students can be as informative as possible!

I need to remind my students that Google has not been around forever.
When is Google's birthday? 17th anniversary doodle recalls 'humble beginnings'
… The 17th anniversary Doodle – which appeared in almost every country in the world excluding the US – features a chunky plastic PC, lava lamp and the 1998 “Google!” logo, encouraging users to wish the company many happy returns on the day.

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