Executive Briefs

Due Diligence: Mind Your Own Business
By Eric Nee

The recent failure of CAPPS II, the federal government's controversial airline passenger screening system, should serve as a warning that projects supported even by organizations as powerful as the federal government can be stopped in their tracks if they fail to balance the interests of security and personal privacy. And that risk, in the view of columnist Eric Nee, will only get worse, as increasingly intrusive technologies such as RFID and global positioning systems come on line. Nee suggests taking the advice of Forrester's Kate Delhagen—beware of "privacy bombs," and don't play fast and loose with your customer data.

Mindshare: Whose Data Is It, Anyway?
By Darwin John

The question of who owns data on consumers, patients, employees and taxpayers is growing in importance as concerns rise about privacy and identity theft, and as companies invest in CRM, data warehouses and analytic software. In his column, former FBI CIO Darwin John argues that personal information belongs to the customers. People may make very different decisions about access to this information, and protecting the right to make that choice must be a core principal for any organization. The real issue for CIOs isn't whether consumers have a right to review and decide how personal information is used; it's how to administer that right.

Analysis: Trust Yourself
By Edward Cone

The notion of trust as a business opportunity, and information privacy as a key element in establishing trust, has been growing in stature as efforts to attach numbers to it increase. Indeed, a growing body of research is sketching the links between information privacy and profits, notes Senior Writer Edward Cone. Among the believers in this approach to privacy is Hilton Hotels Corp. CIO Tim Harvey, who maintains that for his company, "privacy is an advantage in the marketplace." Despite the mounting evidence that privacy can equal profits, however, developing and executing good privacy policies takes corporate discipline and strict attention to the details of your customers' data.

Whiteboard: The Information Loop
By Hugh Dubberly

Increasingly, information technology is coming to the aid of sophisticated marketing programs that are tailored, tested and refined to serve not a mass audience but finer and finer customer segments, allowing organizations to create more personalized—and more profitable—conversations with customers in their markets. This month's Whiteboard, researched and designed by Hugh Dubberly, a designer of information maps, outlines the many links an efficient marketing program creates among databases and some of the tools used to analyze the information made available. The goal: Start a dialogue; create a feedback loop; build a relationship.

Expert Voices: Steven Cooper and Jim Seligman
By Randy Barrett and Wendy Wolfson

Just how safe are we? Two veteran technology journalists, Randy Barrett and Wendy Wolfson, pose that question to a pair of CIOs, each of whom plays a critical role in helping the federal government build the shields going up between potential terrorists and us. Department of Homeland Security CIO Steven Cooper discusses the challenges he faces in integrating the diverse systems of the 22 agencies and 190.000 employees that make up his department into a working, and secure, organization. Meanwhile, Jim Seligman, the CIO of the Centers for Disease Control, is using complex messaging technology to meet the tough requirements for defending the country against the threat of bioterrorism, all the while keeping up with his mission to ensure the country's public health.

Research: Security and Privacy
By the editors of CIO Insight

Do IT executives feel more secure than last year? According to this year's survey, the answer is no. While a strong majority of our 469 respondents say their IT security in the U.S. is adequate and that they have had fewer breaches and financial losses than last year, they are still troubled by outside threats such as e-mail, hackers and cyberterrorism, and they're worried that they are not devoting enough attention to improving their security strategies. Our survey also found other causes for concern: Many companies lack policies for contractors, wireless LANs and instant messaging, and more than 50 percent do not immediately inform customers or employees when they discover private data has been stolen.

Strategic Technology: Identity Management
By Debra D'Agostino

Complying with the host of upcoming corporate oversight legislation is a very good reason to upgrade your company's identity management systems—and it can also be strategic to your business. In this analysis, Reporter Debra D'Agostino explores ways to take identity management beyond simple compliance and security issues. A strong identity management system can allow customers, outsourcers and business partners to more easily exchange information with your firm. Of course, it's not going to be easy, or cheap. But what is?

This article was originally published on 09-01-2004
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