The Home Depot Data Breach

© 2014 Colourbox

With up to 60 million customers affected, the recent security breach at North America’s largest hardware store, The Home Depot, once again proves that even some of the largest retailers have not implemented business processes that ensure the timely detection and communication, if not prevention, of such incidents. This post sheds a light on their dire consequences for consumers and what lawmakers in the U.S. and the E.U. intend to do about it.

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The State of the State: U.S. Government Data Breaches

"Head in Hands" by Alex E. Proimos. Shot on December 14, 2009 at Monnaie, Paris, France. Available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/. Published under a Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license.

Government data breaches run the gamut, but recently we are hearing about years-old security vulnerabilities that are not discovered by the government agencies themselves, but by outsiders. Plus, a review of the broad numbers regarding U.S. government data breaches of the past four years.

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Buzz Lightyear Saved from Data Death

In a world where a residential fire occurs every 79 seconds, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds and a hard drive crashes every 15 seconds, citizens are crying out for help. Do not fear, the Backup Battalion is here! Watch how these super-powered information protectors defend the planet from data-munching monsters and cloud-thrashing titans. Interested in joining the team? Then gather your favorite pair of spandex and read on!

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Towards a New Personal Data Breach Notification Framework in the EU

The European Commission published recently a Proposal for a Regulation on personal data protection. If adopted, it would repeal the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The Proposal includes a new data security framework: both the data controller and the data processor would have to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures in order to ensure that data is secure; a personal data breach would have to be reported within 24 hours to the supervisory authority, and also, without undue delay, to the data subject if the breach would adversely affect his personal data or privacy. We comment some of the pending issues.

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Implementation of Privacy by Design and Technical and Organizational Security Measures: The Data Masking Solution

The European Union is working on a revised set of rules for its data protection framework. The concept and principles of “privacy by design” has been incorporated in this draft. We will assess how data masking can be considered an effective data security measure and whether data masking fulfills privacy by design principles. Data masking is not encryption. It is a technique that provides for the replacement of real data with fictitious but realistic data in test environments.

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The Safe Harbor Framework: not a “safe harbor” anymore for US companies? German expert body insists on stronger compliance stance

On April 29, 2010, the Düsseldorfer Kreis, an informal group of German data protection authorities, published a decision that could have significant repercussions on U.S. companies importing personal data from organizations operating in the European Union. One of these repercussions is that German organizations exporting personal data to the United States should check if the U.S. data importer does indeed comply with the Safe Harbor Framework. Security plan recommendations will provide for a useful guideline to E.U. data exporters to help them comply with the Safe Harbor’s Security Principle.

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