• United States



Has Privacy Found the Spotlight?

Dec 13, 20072 mins
Data and Information Security

My long overdue vacation to Orlando, Florida has kept me away from you for a number of weeks.  Alas, absence does, I hear, make the heart grow fonder.  In any case I am back from the land of the giant mouse with good holiday tidings for your and perhaps more importantly, good news.

It’s working.

Our patient and determined efforts to bring the masses to enlightenment is working.  Young and old, the common man is learning that identity has value.  Better yet, we are learning to question those that want to capture our personal information.  You may wonder how I came to these eye-opening conclusions. 

My methodology is by no means scientific.  There is no smoke, no mirrors, and no spin. 

I watched people. 

It all started one warm November day.  I was minding my own business at the “non-mouse-related” amusement part, when the clouds parted and an angel sang, “I feel violated.”   

I know what you are thinking, but rest assured that this posting is purely rated G or certainly no worse than a PG-13.

…now where was I?  Oh yes, violated.  A teen-aged boy proclaimed to his father that he felt violated.  Had someone touched him inappropriately?  Had he seen something untoward in the world’s happiest place?  No.  His fingerprint had been scanned at the park entrance.  Now, his address, name, credit card information, and fingerprint were holed up in some enchanted database and he was angry!   Even more importantly, he and his father voiced their anger publicly. 

Surely, this was an isolated incident… but wait, hawkers throughout the park preying upon those souls unfortunate enough to make eye contact were pelted with questions.  As they swooped in to capture their prey in survey Hell, the prey responded instinctively.  “Why do you need this?”  “What are you going to do with this?” 

A single tear dropped from the corner of my eye only to quickly sizzle away in the baking heat of November in Florida.  So, this is happiness…  Ah, my heart warms when I remember the vigor with which these brave souls stood up to protect their identities.  Pat your selves on the back my friends for a job well done.  I challenge you to look around and see that fruits that your labor has brought to bear.  Thank you for your persistence and enjoy this even merrier holiday season!

Chad McDonald, CISSP, CISA, C|EH, PMP is a Senior Professional Services Consultant with Imperva. Chad has worked previously at National Student Clearinghouse, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts and is the former Chief Information Security Officer at Georgia College & State University. Chad has addressed numerous groups on topics such as business continuity planning, incident response, and information security awareness. Chad has spent the bulk of his career building, managing, and assessing information security for educational and research organizations. Chad has earned multiple professional security certifications. He is a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association as well as InfraGard, an FBI Task Force charged with protecting the nation's information infrastructure. Chad is active in the security community He worked with law enforcement agencies to assist in the prosecution of the first computer crime on record in Georgia and continues to assist local and state authorities with computer based investigations. Chad has investigated computer and computer-related crimes for local and state law enforcement agencies. Chad is an avid Mac user, since he was rescued from the dark side eight years ago. He currently conducts the vast majority of his work using a MacBook Pro and a MacBook. Chad looks forward to the day that he can stop referring to himself in the third person and actually pay someone to write his bio for him. The opinions and statements expressed here are those of Chad McDonald and in no way reflect opinions or statements of any employer or organization with which Chad is affiliated.