Employee Monitors and Big Brother at Work

Although we consistently discuss the importance of managing data about customers or partners, it’s crucial to pay attention to a key demographic of your intrinsic datasets – employees.  Your team generates an enormous volume of data simply by showing up to the office (HR data, payment information, personal login details and passwords, etc), and the… Read More

We are All Baby Shark (in Data Tracking)

Data is amazing. You know that already. You’re told it every moment of every day. We are literally told or shown by ESPN, our kids report cards, our treadmills, our wristwatch, our Alexa, our Google, our Siri, our phones, and our apps that data is here and has the answer. In some cases this is… Read More

Weekly Data Privacy Roundup

We’re starting something new, a weekly collection of some of the stories that we saw or found interesting but, for some reason, didn’t have time to address meaningfully (by which we mean throw as many gifs at as possible).  This week is heavy on government action, which is a good indication of the trends we’re… Read More

Super-Humans Nudging Us Through Surveillance Capitalism – a Bestseller Venn Diagram

This week I completed a book by Shoshana Zuboff that my brother, James, had pointed me toward. I had also recently completed two other books that have been on my list for quite some time. The timing of each of these books and their futurist warning, deep research, and outstanding storytelling caused a flurry of… Read More

The Seven Deadly (Data Privacy) Sins

One of the questions we hear most frequently is “what are we doing wrong?”  We almost always try to flip that question around into “what can we do better,” because we’re big believers in the notion that providing goals, rather than chastising, creates the right kind of mindset about data privacy and managing a data… Read More

FTC’s Privacy Report Card

It’s that time of year again – the FTC has released its report on enforcement activity in 2018, including its efforts at enforcing privacy promises.  It was, as you might expect, a busy year, with major proceedings instituted against a number of high-profile entities like Uber, Paypal, and Facebook.  Although the total amount in fines… Read More

The Global View on Privacy

We don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but every once in a while we’ll write a blog post about GDPR or CCPA or American data law.  Yes, we do spend an awful lot of time talking about the law in Europe and the United States. That’s probably not a big surprise, given that this is… Read More

Takeaways from the Cardlinx Forum 2019

Last week, we had the chance to attend Cardlinx’s forum in San Francisco, one of the four or so they host worldwide every year.  Cardlinx is an industry association for merchants, credit card issuers, and rewards/loyalty programs, with an eye towards establishing industry standards for “mobile payments, in-store offers, card-linking” and other technology tied to… Read More

Zuckerberg Breaks the Internet

Facebook is a paradox.  I don’t know of anyone, anymore, who says that they love the platform or that it delivers them meaningful connections to others.  Addicted?  Sure.  Attached to the convenience of a simple format for communication?  Yeah, that too.  But genuinely happy with what Facebook is and how it delivers its product?  Nope. … Read More

Takeaways from LSA19

We attended the Local Search Association’s 2019 conference in Dana Point, California.  The LSA is an advocacy organization focused on helping local businesses establish visibility with customers and partner businesses, both through marketing and through maximizing data-driven tools.  It’s a group that we have a long relationship with, and the conference is a great opportunity… Read More

As Transparent as Mud

Transparency is one of the principles driving recent developments in data privacy and data security.  We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how important it is to be open with consumers and data subjects, to give them a clear idea of how their data is used, and why.  The primary reason for this is to… Read More

GDPR Fines, Data Privacy Day, and Other Hot Takes

It’s Data Protection Day, the happiest day of the year!  A year ago, we were talking about the changes that GDPR would bring, and how to gear up operations to ensure that you didn’t violate the law or mislead your customers.  The premise was simple: transparency is a fundamental precept under GDPR (and US law),… Read More

It’s 3am. Does the Dark Web Know Where You Are? (Yes.)

In a move likely driven by federal pressure and calls for an investigation, AT&T yesterday announced that it will no longer sell its customers’ location data to third parties, including data aggregators who, in turn, sell the information to others.  The public response has been to say “It’s about time” immediately after saying “Hold on,… Read More

Data Leverage: Unlocking the Surprising Growth Potential of Data Partnerships

We are proud to announce the release of our book, Data Leverage: Unlocking the Surprising Growth Potential of Data Partnerships.  This book, which outlines our approach to establishing partnerships, sharing data, and protecting data assets, is a single-source guide for what we believe the most important aspects of data management programs are.  We could not be… Read More

We All Care About Data Security, Except When We Don’t

It should be clear by now that we are most comfortable expressing our thoughts in the form of movie quotes, falling as we do into that demographic of Americans who believe that if you can’t say it with a gif from an 80s movie, you don’t need to say it at all. Really, it works… Read More

E21: Will Changes to CaCPA Water Down the Privacy Law (Podcast)

The ballot initiative was pulled, the law was passed. But will the California Consumer Privacy Act (CaCPA) move forward to be one of the most significant steps in data privacy law or will the law be watered down through the revision process. This is a big test to see how California handles data privacy and… Read More

E18: ICANN Loses First GDPR Court Ruling in Germany

In this episode of the “Are You DataSmart?” podcast, the Ward brothers discuss the first court ruling on GDPR that went against ICANN, the non-profit domains platform that powers the internet. What is so fascinating about this first decision is that it specifically puts “data minimization” on display. It isn’t a theory anymore! PODCAST TRANSCRIPT… Read More

E17: Carpenter Decision Builds Up Privacy from #SCOTUS

In this episode of “Are You DataSmart?” we examine the Supreme Court’s most important ruling on privacy in Carpenter v. United States. It is a major development in privacy law, laying the foundation for an interpretation of the Fourth Amendment that protects against generalized government surveillance by electronic means. Together with United States v. Jones, it brings… Read More

E16: GDPR Induces Amnesia – (🎧Podcast)

Episode 16 of the “Are You DataSmart” Podcast covers the major operational issues caused Article 17 of the GDPR, Right to erasure (‘right to be forgotten’). Deleting records causes amnesia-like symptoms for businesses and will afflict every business that receives a withdrawal of consent or a notice to erase data about an individual or data subject. Specifically: The… Read More