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June 15, 2007


Chris M Evans

Chuck, whilst I sympathise with your views that the people may not be maliciously losing data, I would question the "data guardians" to ask exactly why TJX feel they need to retain the full credit cards of their customers on file for so long? Surely they should have a robust data deletion policy for data classed as risky but no longer needed.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Chris -- fair point. And one has to wonder how many organizations have our personal details lying around longer than necessary?

I do not know the full details behind the TJX case, but what I have seen indicates a sophisticated network-based penetration, installation of modified programs on systems, and over a long period of time. Maybe they had inside help.

But it doesn't sound like a case of someone making a copy of a few files, or knicking a backup tape. They were hit by a team, and it sounds like quite a caper.

Thanks for commenting!

Bob D

Good point about companies keeping your information around. I recently bought a car from a major Dealer and the dealer wanted my SS#. (I wasn't taking out a loan from him)

I looked at the floor under the desk where a network switch was located and said "NO WAY" are you getting my SS#.

If their network switch (it was linksys) is on the floor under a desk I sincerely doubt that they encrypt their data or do anything to keep my information safe.

This is a huge problem for small businesses everywhere.

It's worth suing TJ Max for millions but not the local car dealer. Yet, I'd be willing to bet a lot of my own money that TJ Max does a lot better job of protecting my data than the local car dealer.

Chuck Hollis

Good point.

I was over in Europe this week talking to customers, and this topic came up. It was clear that I thought this was a much bigger deal than they did.

The European view is very different than ours.

As one person said simply: "life is dangerous".

Kind of made me think -- how much of our concern is cultural vs. pragmatic?


Great post. Lots of great information.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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