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Will Companies Be Ready for Europe’s General Data Protection Rule?

22 Jun

In the United States, consumer privacy rules are not as strong as they are in other areas of the world. Recently, the U.S. Congress voted to overturn a pending regulation that would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to obtain people’s permission before selling their data about them. President Trump then signed the rollback.

As reported by NPR.org:

“The reversal is a victory for ISPs, which have argued that the regulation would put them at a disadvantage compared with so-called edge providers, like Google and Facebook. Those firms are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and face less stringent requirements. ISPs collect huge amounts of data on the Web sites people visit, including medical, financial, and other personal information. The FCC regulation would have required ISPs to ask permission before selling that information to advertisers and others, a so-called opt-in provision.”

In contrast to the U.S. approach to privacy, Europe has a sweeping new regulation that will take effect in May 2018. It will have an impact on companies based anywhere, including the United States.

Brian Wallace, reporting for CMS Wire, describes the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), thusly. Be sure to read the material highlighted:

“The European Parliament passed the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) in April 2016. The law is one of the most sweeping privacy laws protecting citizens ever to be put on the books, and is scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018. One of the most misunderstood things about this law is that it covers EU citizen data, no matter which country the company using it is located. This means that any company in the world that stores EU citizen protected data has less than a year to come into compliance with the GDPR.

According to the GDPR’s Web site, “The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. The GDPR protects personal data and sensitive personal data. This includes: sensitive data: name, location, identification numbers, IP address, cookies, RFID info; and sensitive personal data: health data, genetic data, biometric data, racial or ethnic data, political opinions, and sexual orientation.

 

Take a look at the following infographic from Digital Guardian to learn more! Click the image for a larger version.


 

Bose Sued for Privacy Violations

30 May

We’ve posted many times about privacy issues (click here). But there’s a new lawsuit against Bose that could reshape the legal landscape for a number of companies. The video below is a good synopsis of the Bose matter.

Two questions for you: (1) Do you think Bose will modify its policies and negotiate a settlement before the case makes it to court? (2) If the case goes to trial, who do you think will prevail? GIVE US YOUR ANSWERS THROUGH A POST COMMENT.
 

 
 

A Video to Help YOU Be Inspired — and Kind!!

28 May

We may be busy. We may be cranky. We may be tired. But, especially in these overly cynical times, it’s important that we also be kind — and respectful.

The video embedded below (“Don’t Judge People You Don’t Know”) has been viewed 28 million times on Facebook!
 

Please think about the message conveyed, and do an act of kindness.

 

 

Ransomware Now a BIGGER Problem — What Can YOU Do?

15 May

We have written several times before about the devastating results caused by ransomware hacking (see, for example, 1, 2, 3). “Ransomware is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.” [Ransomware: The Smart Person’s Guide, by James Sanders]

Now, we are under the worst global cyberattack involving ransomware to date. On Friday May 12, 2017, Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger reported for the New York Times that:

“Hackers began exploiting malicious software stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency and executed damaging cyberattacks. This amounted to an audacious global blackmail attempt spread by the Internet. By late Friday, attacks had spread to more than 74 nations. Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, said Russia was worst-hit, followed by Ukraine, India, and Taiwan. Reports also came from Latin America and Africa. The attacks appeared to be the largest ransomware assault on record, but the scope of damage was hard to measure. It was not clear if victims were paying ransom, which began at about $300 to unlock individual computers, or even if those who did pay would regain access to their data. Transmitted via E-mail, the malicious software demanded ransom before users could be let back in — with a threat that data would be destroyed if demands were not met.”

Today, Gerry Mullany and Paul Mozur report for the New York Times that:

“A global cyberattack spread to thousands more computers on Monday as workers logged in at the start of a new workweek. Universities, hospitals, businesses, and daily life were disrupted, but no catastrophic breakdowns were reported. In Europe, where the cyberattack first emerged, officials said it appeared that a second wave — based on copycat variants of the original software — had not yet materialized. New disruptions were most apparent in Asia, where many workers had already left on Friday when the attack occurred. China reported disruptions at nearly 40,000 organizations, including 4,000 academic institutions, figures that experts say are likely to be low estimates, given the prevalence of pirated software.”

Also today, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes that: “Ransomware can make you want to cry. A malicious program called ‘WannaCry’ has affected 200.000 people or organizations in 150 countries since Friday. Data by Symantec show that almost every industrial sector has been affected by ransomware in recent years. However, some types of companies are more vulnerable or more often targeted by cybercriminals trying to extort money for data than others. The analysis shows that the services sector was by far most affected by ransomware in 2016.”

 

Check out Statista’s synopsis. Click the chart for a larger view.

 

What Can YOU Do to Better Protect Against Ransomware?

Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do to 100% protected against malicious ransomware. However, there are steps we can take to better safeguard our computers, phones, tablets, and other smart devices. Here are several tips, first, an infographic from Europol (click the image for a larger version) and, then, a few links:

 

Do YOU Trust Companies with Your Personal Data?

20 Apr

We know that there have been incidents of stolen data around the world. These are involuntary hacks of our personal information. So, how do we feel about voluntarily sharing our information with companies? Many of us are rather reluctant to share more personal data due to concerns about identity theft, access to private information, and more.

As reported by eMarketer:

“A Pew Research Center report published in January 2017 found that only 14% of US consumers felt ‘very confident’ about entrusting companies/retailers with their data. Almost the exact same number said they were not at all confident.”

 

 

Another United PR Disaster: You Can’t Make This Up!

18 Apr

After its recent public relations nightmare, when it forcibly removed a passenger from a seat due to overbooking (overloading)  and dragged him from his seat, you would think that United Airlines would have learned its lesson. Social media and TV reports skewered United for its actions. Just this one video received more than 3.6 million views in a single week after the incident.
 

 
As a result of the continuing social media barrage — and after several PR missteps, United’s CEO finally issued a more consumer-oriented message to the public. As reported by Brandon Morse for THE BLAZE:

“United CEO Oscar Munoz has stated that in light of the recent deplaning debacle [on April 9, 2017], United Airlines will no longer use police to remove passengers from planes. In an interview with Good Morning America, Munoz stated that he felt ‘ashamed’ over how passenger David Dao was forcibly removed from the flight, and promised to review his company’s passenger removal policy. According to United spokesperson Maddie King, the passengers who witnessed the incident of flight 3411 will be reimbursed for the price of their ticket [if they sign a waiver against suing]. This news comes on the heels of the announcement that two more officers that were involved in the incident have been put on leave.”

From Fox News:

“That is not who our family at United is,” Munoz said. “This will never happen again on a United flight. That’s my promise.” In the future, law enforcement will not be involved in removing a “booked, paid, seated passenger,” Munoz said. “We can’t do that.”

So did CEO Munoz really mean what he said? You decide! On April 15, 2017, less than one week after the above incident, United removed two passengers on the way to their wedding. NPR’s Doreen McCallister reports that: “A couple flying to Costa Rica for their wedding were removed from a United Airlines flight in Houston on Saturday. The incident happened nearly a week after a video showing a passenger being dragged off a Chicago-to-Louisville flight went viral. Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell are scheduled to get married on Thursday.
 
Here’s a video clip from USA Today on this latest incident.
 

 
More!! The parodies of United Airlines are brutal. Here’s one example (recorded before the wedding couple incident).
 

 

Ethical Selling: Not Necessarily an Oxymoron

4 Apr

Each year, Gallup conducts a survey on “Honesty/Ethics in Professions.” Here are the most recent results. As we can see, professionals in the health care professions are considered the most honest and ethical by Americans. On the other hand, car and insurance salespeople, advertising practitioners, and stockbrokers are rated quite low on these attributes. 
 

 

So what can these marketing professionals do to improve their standing among the public?

Consider these observations from Drew Hendricks, writing for Inc.:

“Sales itself is a fact of life; there’s something to sell to someone who wants to buy it; and salespeople are going to exist. Sales organizations need to ‘make a stand for ethical selling. Make sure it’s in your culture and communicate the importance and responsibility your salespeople and sales leadership have to represent the career of professional selling.’ Why do companies get an unhealthy sales culture? They’re pushing quota over quality, over long-term annual recurring revenue, and threatening those that aren’t ‘performing’ without understanding performance over time is powerful.”

“The most powerful conclusion one can take from the idea of ethical sales is to stand by key points: (1) Make thoughtful, careful research of a customer before even approaching them. (2) As Thorniley suggests, use ‘connected products, supported by predictive customer service [to anticipate] customer needs.’ (3) Think of the sales pipeline not as a one-stop process ending in a sale, but one that continually boosts customer happiness. (4) Don’t focus on closing; focus on making a sale that leaves the customer exhilarated and excited to have paid you.”

 

Click the image to read more from Hendricks.

CREDIT: Getty Images

 

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