When Data “Goes Missing”, You’ll Want To Know

Busy day today, or maybe I’m in a good blogging mood.

Thinking back to last year or maybe a bit earlier, when I got a letter in the mail telling me there was a chance that my personal information had possibly fallen into someone elses hands. This letter of course had arrived from Time Warner (AOL being my former employer at the time, having spent some of my college life working for them in Waterford), informing myself and over a half million other current and former employees of what we could do if our data was stolen – at least informing us that it might have been stolen, never mind the additional protection.

In working for the company, whose main global operation lies in the US, you have to sign a few papers allowing your data to travel outside of the EU, in order to have your employee records processed, passwords and security IDs issued and all that.

So when the news breaks in the US that the data storage company accidentally misplaces 40 backup tapes with records of 600,000 employees you think… ah sure that’ll have nothing to do with me – until the letter arrives that is. So we were offered protection and ways to monitor credit reports and accounts. But the fact is, we were kindly told about it, even though it wasn’t then judged to be a major risk, and were offered ways to work around it.

Which brings up this afternoon’s post on the DRI blog entitled “Support a right to be warned if your personal information is exposed“.

The EU Commission is now proposing something similar to the Californian law, though more limited. The proposal applies to “electronic communications services” (such as telephone or internet services) and would require providers to “notify their customers of any breach of security leading to the loss, modification or destruction of, or unauthorised access to, personal customer data.”

While the initial process sounds limited in its capacity, I for one would bloody well want to know if someone got a hold of any personal data on record and have sent my email to the EU Commission and the Department of Communications.


  1. Sean September 13, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    Yeah! I would like to know also! 😀

    Also, good bloggin day Ken! Lots to read and what not! 🙂

  2. Ken McGuire September 14, 2006 at 9:00 am

    Lots to read indeed! That’ll do me for a few days anyway…

    Still, its a serious issue. I know of two people who have undergone identity theft (been victim of) and its not nice!

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