All Posts by Corporate Responsibility Category

Corporate Responsibility


The cultural divide on data protection - USA vs EU

We are several months past the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 (9/11) attacks, but one of the significant consequences of that event a decade ago highlights the cultural divide between the USA and Europe on data protection.  Data privacy has been hitting the news recently because of Google's changes in their terms and condition.  Frank Jennings of DMH Stallard, who chairs the Governace Board for the CIF Code of Practice on which I sit, has just published a good analysis of the proposed reforms to the EU's data protection laws, and that triggered me to visit the topic here.  Data in terms of security, privacy and sovereignty is still the number 1 issue for companies who are first considering Cloud Computing.   As a buyer, you need to carry out your due diligence for any software, platform or infrastructure as a service - you should be checking how and where the provider will be storing your data, and how YOU will comply with legislation like the Data Protection Act.

Here in the UK, if your systems handle personal information about individuals you have a number of legal obligations to protect that information under the Data Protection Act 1998. .. ...

Corporate blogging and PR - the fake and the crap

As an ardent fan of the application of blogging and social media in business, it's depressing to highlight an example of exactly how not to do it. Unfortunately the culprit is Debbie Weil, well known in the industry for writing "The Corporate Blogging Book". To follow the story, you can read the start of the mess here, where she pimps for comments on a corporate blog for the weight loss product alli. Everything has unfortunate side effects from here on in. To explain things, I can't beat the excellent commentary from two of my blogging friends...

Dennis Howlett uses the excellent title "Holy Crap!" and ends his great piece with:

"I couldn't care less what PR does. In fact I assiduously try and ignore what PR does most of the time. But I do object to pimping because it makes all of us look like whores."

Jerry Bowles takes a more measured approach with "Deborah Weil and the Art of the Fake" and concludes:

"The social media revolution has given many of us aging hucksters a chance to regain a bit of our virtue by finally having a strong business case for direct, honest, communication, but Weil doesn't seem to want that opportunity."

Direct, honest communication is what we need, and in the end that is what has fallen out of this sorry tale.


The Green question for software companies

EarthIt's a sign of the times that, at a press briefing during the Spring 07 launch in London, one of the journalists asked how green SfDC is, and about their overall impact on the environment. Actually they have a very good story, with a combination of the 1/1/1 approach combined with their recent 1 with the Earth addition. Every employee is encouraged to donate 1% of their working time to the community. They donate 1% of their equity in grants and in addition provide a further 1% in product donations. Their 1 with the Earth press release says:

"In taking important key steps in becoming a carbon neutral corporation, the Foundation will work to neutralize the effect of's corporate greenhouse gas emissions from its major areas of carbon consumption - its office locations, corporate travel and data centers. This will be done through the strategic purchase of carbon offsets with the help of Clean Air-Cool Planet, NativeEnergy and Conservation International."

SfDC have a great answer, but other software companies, just like our politicians, had better get ready with a sensible response in anticipation.