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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. .. ...
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On Twitter I'm 4 years old

My Tweetdeck todayBack on Valentine's day 2007 I signed up to this weird short messaging thing that posted your status updates on a web page and sent them as SMS messages to your mobile phone - it was called Twitter.  At that stage it had been going for almost a year very quietly somewhere - Jack Dorsey actually sent the first tweet on a service then called twttr on 21 March 2006 with it launching publicly in July 2006  (although contrary to popular belief, Twitter was invented in 1935).

At the start of 2007 it was a best kept secret, and didn't even start as a separate company until April of that year.  I was early enough to grab a 2 character ID, my normal nickname in business, DT.  Those few of us that were cool enough to have heard about it then were the social media early adopters who usually signed up to any and every new web 2.0 service and tried to figure out if it was useful.  Twitter didn't really begin to take off until a few months later when two big plasma screens were set up displaying Twitter as the official backchannel at South by South West 2007 (SxSW).  From that point user take up really began to spread.

A year ago Twitter users were sending ...