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Freedom and Security

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By living in the United States, we are blessed with many freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of information. But what exactly is “freedom of information” and how can it really exist with all the current regulations guarding the release of such information?  

The Freedom of Information Act (FOI), is a federal freedom of information law, signed by President Lyndon B Johnsen in 1966, requiring the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request. 

So can a federal law requiring the release of information upon request coexist with the recent Data Protection Act (DPA) and laws meant to protect our “digital privacy”? 

5 Ways the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Privacy Act Coexist

1. The concepts of “data privacy” and “privacy” are different

The Data Privacy Act (DPA) may not have explicitly defined the terms “data privacy” or “privacy”. Although, we must know that these are two different concepts that function with two distinctive purposes.

“Data privacy” refers to the personal information of individuals, who are mentioned in the law as a “data subject”. These “data subjects” are provided certain rights in respects to the processing of their personal information as well as the security of personal information being processed and accountability for the transfer of information.

“Privacy” as a single concept is not so articulately defined in our laws. Although, in the Bill of Rights “privacy” is stated to be the right of individuals or citizens to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against any unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose.

This means is that the “privacy” in the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) operates under different rules and is not necessarily affected by the stipulations of the Data Privacy Act.

As a “data subject” under the DPA, what we should be attentive of is the actual processing of our personal information. Processing is described as any operation or set of operations performed upon personal information including, the collection, recording, organization, storage, updating or modification, retrieval, consultation, use, consolidation, blocking, erasure or destruction of data.

That being said, the act of processing personal information is different from the giving of public access to information in the matter of public interest. Therefore, the act of providing public access to information is not considered the same as “processing” of personal information as intended by FOI and DPA.

Besides, the disclosure and public access in the matter of public interest, is part of the Bill of Rights, as “the right of the people to information on matters of public concern”.

As the rights to public information are stemming from the American Constitution, they cannot just be reversed by the notion of “processing” of personal information provided for by the DPA. In other words, a law simply cannot be made to triumph over a provision of the Constitution.

3. Personal Information in the Data Protection Act does not Include Investigation into Public Officials

There may be certain types of sensitive personal information whose processing is prohibited apart from certain exceptions provided by the law. Looking at what may be considered as prohibited sensitive personal information, refers to any proceeding for any offense committed or alleged to have been committed by a public official.

That means is that if there’s any alleged wrongdoing by a public official, the public official cannot simply claim they have “sensitive information” that cannot be disclosed because there has to be court proceedings first where sensitive personal information may be involved.

4. The Data Privacy Act does not Protect the acts of Public Officials under their Job Function

Information about any individual who is or was an officer or employee of a government institution is outside of the scope of the law. Any such information about the acts of the public official on how he or she has performed his or her functions are not covered by the rights to data privacy.

This means is that the DPA cannot be used to deny access to the information being requested, since the DPA has nothing to do with information. Instead, it is the rules of the FOI that will deal with how this non-disclosure or disclosure of the public official’s personal information will be carried out.

5. Violating Rights to Privacy can Create Civil Liabilities in the FOI, but not the DPA.

The FOI creates liability for damages by any public officer, employee, or private citizen, who obstructs, defeats, violates, or impairs the constitutional rights to be secure in one’s person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

What this means is that the public official, whose right to privacy is protected, can sue anyone for damages, who may interfere with the public official’s right to privacy, but not the data privacy referred to in the DPA.

This right to sue for damages for violation of constitutional rights is a broad one, which is different from the right to restitution. Restitution, refers to the restoration of the thing itself, which means a rectification of any error in the processing of personal information by the data subject and nothing else.

Conclusion

At first glance, the right to privacy may defeat the public’s right to information on matters of public concern but this must be distinguished with the right to data privacy which operates under rules provided by the Data Privacy Act (DPA).

The DPA and the FOI do not outrightly clash, but the application of rules in both of the laws may need to be refined and consistent to fully carry out the public’s right to information on matters of public concern.

13 IT Dad Jokes

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Father’s have taught us many things, but telling jokes may not be one of them. Here are a few of our favorite “IT” dad jokes to get you through the holiday….

Don’t use “beef stew” as a computer password.

It’s not stroganoff.

 

 

Did you hear about the monkeys who shared an Amazon account?

They were Prime mates.

 

 

What does Apple call its new iPhone chargers?

Apple Juice

 

 

Have you heard of that new band “1023 Megabytes”?

They’re pretty good, but they don’t have a gig just yet.

 

 

I just got fired from my job at the keyboard factory.

They told me I wasn’t putting in enough shifts.

 

 

My computer suddenly started singing “Someone Like You.”

It’s a Dell.

 

 

Why did the computer show up at work late?

It had a hard drive.

 

 

Why did the CPU go broke?

A reboot cleared out all of its cache.

 

 

What are computers’ favorite snacks?

Microchips, phish sticks, and cookies. But just a few bytes of each.

 

 

What do computers do at the beach?

Put on some spam block for protection so they can safely surf the net while catching some WAVs!

 

 

Where do computers go to dance?

The disk-o.

 

 

Why did the IT guy’s mom yawn?

Because he made his Mother Bored.

ASCDI podcast

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ASCDI Podcast: Meet DTC Computer Supplies, a company dedicated to the secondary market

New to the AscdiNatd, DTC Computer Supplies is a family owned company specializing in buying and selling IT equipment that offers a deep bench of experience in the industry, and especially in data storage products. In this podcast, Norm Hutton, Wholesale Purchasing and Sales with DTC, gives us a look at the new ASCDI member. Hutton discusses how DTC offers many services including quantity discounts, same day shipping, blind and double blind drop shipments, in-house labeling and initialization, free EDP Tri-Optic barcode labels with any tape purchase and a deep inventory of products. We learn about DTC’s exclusive Phoenix Rejuvenation Process. Hutton describes DTC’s used tape and IT equipment buyback programs.

Data Storage Security

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data storage security
data storage security

As Breaches continue, DATA STORAGE and Fear of Adequate SECURITY are merging in the eyes of IT managers.

Over the years data storage security has become a concept centered around protecting data while warranting its availability to authorized personnel. 

Usually, data storage and data security are treated as individual subjects within the IT world, but that’s beginning to change faster than anyone thought it would.

A major reason for the recent merge in disciplines is the variety severity of security breaches routinely exposed by the media. 

As a result, IT managers in the healthcare, finance, and energy sectors have experienced a growing concern among their own.

A subdivision of the broader IT security field, data storage security specifically focuses on securing storage devices and the systems that operate those devices.

Securing data storage may as well be the last stand against an intrusion. 

However, it’s only an effective line of defense if data storage managers and IT administrators are willing to devote the time and effort needed to execute and initiate the existing storage security controls.

data security

In order to maintain reliable data storage security, IT administrators and mangers must carefully balance three important factors: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. 

This means keeping classified data away from unauthorized users, confirming reliability of the data on hand, and allowing access to accredited users within the organization. 

Administrators also need to be aware of the costs of storage security compared to the actual value of the data being safeguarded. 

It doesn’t make sense to have storage security systems in place that cost more than the data is even worth.

 

On the same note, managers should have storage security systems impenetrable to the point that it would cost potential hackers more money, time, and resources to breach them than the data is worth.

More than just recent data breaches, the array of liabilities administrators are progressively motivated to remove consist of shortage in encrypted systems and incomplete data destruction post deletion.

The setback associated with data destruction after data has been deleted can easily be solved with a SITAD organization.

Secure IT asset disposition firms are gaining popularity as they have gradually proven their effectiveness in helping businesses gain a higher return on their initial investment while keeping data secured during the destruction process.

There are also a number of simple steps that industry experts recommend for organizations that are considering employing storage security practices.

These steps include having specific data storage security policies as well as strong network and endpoint security.

Additionally, any organization that has concerns regarding their data storage security methods should invest in data tape backup.

The benefits of the tried and tested magnetic media storage are crucial when implementing effective storage and adequate backup systems and processes.  

tape seciurity

Why Do Electronics Get Outdated So Fast?

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Outdated Electronics

Are you tired of buying a new TV, computer, tablet, or phone just to see a bigger, better, faster model a few months later? We all want to stay up to date with the latest and greatest technology, but it seems almost impossible these days.  Our grandparents would buy a major electronic appliance with the expectation that it would last for many years, but modern electronics seem to get outdated and thrown away every 2-5 years on average. What has caused this shift in lifetime expectancy of our useful gadgets? Simply put: competition, demand, and application.

Competition Among Manufacturersoutdated electronics

The tech industry is full of companies creating considerable demand and even higher levels of competition; forcing products to improve quicker than ever before. Interestingly enough the electronics and IT industries have no dominant brands or concepts. Quite the contrary, there are numbers of very competitive firms challenging one another to increase development of their products; making innovation lightning fast.

Demand Among Consumers

Remember when Apple released the first iPhone 3G, introducing the first true touch screen and home button combination? Shortly thereafter, Samsung released their version of a touchscreen phone with the Instinct model, dubbed the “iPhone killer”. Obviously, it didn’t live up to its name but it definitely started a trend of who can do what better. Now every company is competing including Google. The demand for sleeker, faster, and more innovative products is so significant that invest  ments in the tech industry stay consistent. Companies are constantly stressing the importance of the creation of new products that help consumers stay ahead of the curve.

Application

Many electronic devices have so many uses and applications in our daily lives that keeping up with the latest versions is almost a necessity. In the past, electronics may have been considered a luxury or strictly for entertainment value, but today’s culture and marketplace have changed that outlook. When was the last time you went one day without checking your email, watching a TV show, or sending a text message? That kind of puts everything into perspective doesn’t it?

Ecurrent electronicslectronics are such a crucial part of our world and will more than likely play a major role in our future. Consider how the internet has produced an unbelievable globalization and social dispersion in its short life. Thirty years ago, you couldn’t just click a few buttons or have notifications automatically sent to you from a breaking news event in across the world.

In most households across America, the chances of finding multiple electronic devices in every room is pretty high. Every year ecofriendly appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and light bulbs steadily become more resourceful and reliable as producers compete for business. With the promises of cutting electric bills in half and doing your part by saving the environment, what’s your reason not to upgrade?

Technology continues to improve every day because this is what we have come to expect. Imagine for one second that a newer, faster, slimmer model of our favorite gadget didn’t exist. We would most likely become frustrated and look for the next company that can deliver it. We have technology in our homes, our cars, our schools, and our jobs. There is no doubt that we are connected by it. In fact, we dependent on it.

Disposing of Obsolete Technology

So now ask yourself, what exactly are you going to do with that old laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone when its no longer the hottest thing on the market? After you go out and spend hard earned money on the latest and greatest, what are you going to do with your obsolete gadgets? You’d be foolish to just throw them in the dumpster and not try to get any money for them. Companies like DTC Computer Supplies are constantly looking to buy old, used, and obsolete tech equipment. Not only can they help you get cold hard cash for your electronics, but more importantly they keep the hazardous materials out of landfills. Since 1965, our parent company DTC Computer Supplies has been specializing in IT asset disposal and recycling. From hard drives, storage media, and computer memory to full on desktop, lap tops, and servers; they got you covered. What are you waiting for? Give them a call today and see how much money you can get! It might even help you pay for the new gadget you just bought!dtc logo