Philly Phundraising Phollies
Readers respond to "Lost Data Threatens Security?" which was published Dec. 13, 2005.
I really enjoy your e-mails--they are among the most intelligent and intellectually stimulating I read, but you missed the biggest problem here. The solution (if indeed there is one) is the people, not the systems. Data security is still a cost-center for most companies, so it gets the mouse's share of the budget, not the share it needs. If you can only hire turkeys to guard your data when you need eagles (and you really do need eagles), you'll never beat the problem. And the problem will never go away--we're creating too many processes that are going to exacerbate the problems we currently have. If you enjoy monitoring the current problems, you're going to love the future!
Funny you should mention this. Did you hear the NPR story this morning: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5049679. Also be sure to check out in the In Depth links "Surveillance Provisions."
Kevin Drum, on his blog, Political Animal, suggests a fairly simple approach to one aspect of personal data security: simply make "credit freeze" the default, so nobody can access your credit files without your permission. It might increase approval time when you apply for credit, but that's a minor trade-off, given the risk. Read what he has to say here: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_11/007646.php
Readers respond to "Choices," which was published Dec. 15, 2005.
You know how to KISS [Keep It Simple, Stupid], I know how to KISS, but it's completely antithetical to government at any level. The reasons why the Medicare Drug Benefit is so complex and strange are: a) it would cost more to make it simple--eliminating the donut hole, and b) the drug companies want to keep charging full freight to individual consumers. The bottom line is, however, if you are not covered for prescription drugs currently, you really should sign up for one of the plans. If you don't do so by May, there could be significant penalties if you want to take the coverage later.