IT Trends :: Thursday, October 12, 2006

Opinion

The Desegregation of Privacy Issues: Closing the Privacy Gap?

By Terry Calhoun

Was North Korea’s underground explosion even nuclear? If so, many experts are saying that it was either a partial success or a partial failure, in technical terms. Years ago, maybe even a few years ago, we’d have had North Korea’s claims as the sole data to analyze. Now, any size of underground shaking is identified and measured. Nowadays, however:

“It’s pretty remarkable that such a small explosion was promptly apparent on seismometers all over the world,” said Paul Richards, a seismologist at Columbia University‘s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, NY. “The detection of this was really good. You can’t hide these kinds of things, even very small tests.”

There are lots of things that “you can’t hide” anymore. Consumers have experienced this as many institutions, including colleges and universities, have leaked “personal data” in hundreds of reported instances. At Ohio University, such leaks have been a significant part of a crisis of reputation that has resulted in loss of institutional prestige and a number of firings. (Although two IT staffers have recently won grievances asserting they were unfairly fired and had nothing to do with the security issues...

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