PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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The OPM Data Breach: Harm Without End?

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By Daniel J. Solove

The recent breach of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) network involved personal data on millions of federal employees, including data related to background checks. OPM is now offering 18 months of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to victims. But as experts note in a recent Washington Post article, this is not nearly enough:

If the data is in the hands of traditional cyber criminals, the 18-month window of protection may not be enough to protect workers from harm down the line. “The data is sold off, and it could be a while before it’s used,” said Michael Sussmann, a partner in the privacy and data security practice at law firm Perkins Coie. “There’s often a very big delay before having a loss.”

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Boards of Directors Must Grapple with Privacy and Cybersecurity

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By Daniel J. Solove

Privacy and cybersecurity have become issues that should be addressed at the board level. No longer minor risks, privacy and cybersecurity have become existential issues. The costs and reputational harm of privacy and security incidents can be devastating.

Yet not enough boards are adequately engaged with these issues. According to a survey last year, 58% of members of boards of directors believed that they should be actively involved in cyber security. But only 14% of them stated that they were actively involved.

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Chart of the Largest Data Breaches in the World

by Daniel J. Solove

Over at the website, Information Is Beautiful, is this amazing chart of the biggest data breaches in the world

Who knew data breaches could be so beautiful?  For those who have suffered from their data being lost in a data breach to those who have suffered because they had to clean up after a data breach, there is a larger meaning to all your pain — it was for art!

This chart is so cool that it would almost be worth all the pain.

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Big Data, Big Data Breaches, Big Fines and Other Privacy + Security Updates

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By Daniel J. Solove
Co-authored by Professor Paul Schwartz

This post is part of a post series where we round up some of the interesting news and resources we’re finding. This post includes developments from the first part of 2015. For a PDF version of this post, and for archived issues of previous posts, click here.

NOTE: Health privacy and security issues will now be covered in a separate update post. 

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If the Empire in Star Wars Had Big Data

Star Wars Privacy and Security Awareness Darth Vader

. . . the Empire would have won. A search of records would have revealed where Luke Skywalker was living on Tatooine.  A more efficient collection and aggregation of Jawa records would have located the droids immediately.  Simple data analysis would have revealed that Ben Kenobi was really Obi Wan Kenobi. A search of birth records would have revealed that Princess Leia was Luke’s sister. Had the Empire had anything like the NSA, it would have had all the data it needed, and it could have swept up the droids and everyone else, and that would have been that.

There is an important lesson to be learned from Star Wars: If you are trying to establish and maintain a ruthless Empire, you can greatly benefit from better data aggregation and analysis.

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