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Hall of Shame

Annoyed by ongoing examples of large companies who should know better demonstrating a fundamental ineptness towards data protection and high availability, I’ve decided to start a Hall of Shame.

On this page I’ll note, over time, awful failures in companies in the realms of data protection and high availability, as they come to hand. There’s a significant reason why I’m calling this page the Hall of Shame – it’s not about average companies who happen to experience a minor data loss event, but rather, about companies who should know better.

Here’s the entries:

  • Microsoft/Danger/T-Mobile for the Sidekick Debacle. A catastrophic data loss event that should never have happened. Proof as well of the dangers of non-local data storage. Happened October 2009.
  • Systems failure by IBM outsourcing causes massive failures to Air New Zealand, delaying thousands upon thousands of passengers, taking systems in a highly time-sensitive field down for approximately 5 hours. Happened Sunday 11 October 2009. Money quote comes from the Air New Zealand Chief Executive, “In my 3o-year working career, I am struggling to recall a time where I have seen a supplier so slow to react to a catastrophic system failure such as this and so unwilling to accept responsibility and apologise to its client and its client’s customers.”
  • Data breach at The Guardian’s job website, resulting in half a million CV’s being stolen. Data security is another aspect of data protection, and so I feel justified in citing the breach in this Hall of Shame. Presumably happened in October 2009, though reporting when there are police investigations underway is usually a little vague. What makes this so shameful? How about breach of trust and it’s happened to a job website run by a news organisation – and news organisations are constantly exposed to details about data breaches, so you’d think security would be something they’d be well aware of!

Do you know of an event that belongs in the Hall of Shame? If so, let me know.

2 Responses to “Hall of Shame”

  1. Alex said

    I know by now everyone probably did, but why not add the saga?
    See Curtis Preston’s blog for example:

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