We’ve made a fair amount of noise about the generational differences in today’s workplaces. There are four generations of workers in the labour market, each with different expectations and methods of work. But in most workplaces, regardless of workers’ ages and attitudes, there is one constant: they all use the same computers. Today’s computers might be versatile enough to support various working styles, but are workers—young and old—adaptable enough to use them efficiently?
Sometimes, technology creates new ways to exploit information faster than the law and business can keep up. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen in the case of behavioural advertising. Last year, the Privacy Commissioner conducted consultations on the new ways that organizations are collecting and using customers’ personal information, and prepared its Report on the 2010 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Consultations on Online Tracking, Profiling and Targeting, and Cloud Computing.
In a recent survey of 500 information technology and data security workers, 40 percent said they could easily use their knowledge of encryption keys, shared passwords, weak controls and loopholes in data security programs to make off with information, or hold their organization’s data hostage. And 31 percent said that, even if they no longer worked for the company, with their knowledge of the systems they could access encryption keys and authorization codes and hack in remotely to snoop, secretly alter files or shut down the data system.
I recently read a news release by the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that indicated that there are still high incidences of laptops containing personal information being stolen—without having security measures such as encryption put in place. The commissioner was left scratching his head.
Customers demand more of businesses in so many ways these days—better quality and safety, greater social and environmental responsibility, extra service, and accessibility. The law increases its demands frequently, too. Even our governments and public service providers have a hard time keeping up with the legal requirements! Making improvements in all of these areas can challenge an organization, but only accessibility offers the advantage of access to a market of unrealized potential.
You’ve written an email that says some things you might be better off saying in person—or not at all—right? Like when you wanted to tell off a co-worker—or supervisor—about taking credit for your work, or putting you down in front of the boss, or just for generally being a jerk. Maybe you were caught up in the anger of the moment—you let your temper get the best of you—or maybe you were just a bit—or a lot—drunk. And maybe you hit that “Send” button, and maybe you reconsidered before it was too late. I don’t like to imagine the result of sending such a message.
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