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FTC chairman warns against data negligence

This years keynote speaker at the RSA conference in San Francisco was Deborah Platt Majoras,FTC Chairwoman. Her focus was on the need for businesses to protect the consumer data in their care.

"If you make claims about data security, you better make sure they're accurate," she said, citing the FTC's cases against Microsoft, Tower Records parent MTS Inc., and Petco Animal Supplies Inc. In those cases, the FTC challenged claims the companies made on their Web sites about the security they had in place to protect consumer data.

Experts Wrangle about Data Security

Once again this years hot topic amongst the 15,000 attendees at the RSA Conference was data security. Identity theft and corporate espionage were dominant themes for speakers as well as in the halls.

"ID theft is one thing, but the theft of proprietary information without the knowledge of the government or a private business is another," said Clarke, best-selling author and former White House cybersecurity czar, said Wednesday. "The most dangerous breach is one you are unaware of."

Identity theft was also on the mind of Bill Gates, who visibly perked up when the subject turned to the credit card-issuing system during an interview after his Tuesday morning speech. Gates says the problem is largely solvable with an authorization system that requires consumers' final approval when any financial transaction is made under their name. He suggests biometric smart cards as part of a solution that could be achieved within five years.

On the Lighter Side

There has been identity theft of grouper in Florida restaurants. A recent investigation found that 17 of 24 restaurants sampled were serving less desirable species instead of the groper listed on the menu. The most common impersonators were asian catfish, emperor, painted sweetlips and twice the type of fish could not be identified.

Make sure you ID your fish to make sure it is not using another fishes identity when ordering grouper.

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