Do We Understand Data?

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Do We Understand Data?

    [font="Tahoma"]Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.[/font]
  • I've long felt that a lot of what gets left to the DBAs of this world is due to the abdication of responsibilities from people who are ignorant of what their role should be regarding data.  Above a certain level responsibility = risk and therefore no-one is keen to take back the responsibilities.

  • DBAs are only responsible for a small part of data security. We make sure that only those allowed to access data may access data, according to the rules laid down by Management. For example, I'm sure that the DBAs in Facebook do their job very well. If data is abused, it is usually not the DBA that is responsible for the abuse. I regard the act of whistleblowing as a special case. This is a moral issue.

     If a DB-server is kept fully patched, then the DBA is not responsible, should a DB-server by breached by some very new zero-day exploit. If backups are too easily accessible by those not authorised, then the person responsible for taking care of backups is responsible. This may or may not be the DBA. The DBA is responsible to check that the backups restore as they should to sound DBs often and regularly.

    Now, if there is a data-breach and the DB-login-password is too weak, easily guessed or not changed in a long time, then the DBA is responsible. Likewise if the DBAs gave out logins with too many rights (not everybody needs write-rights, for example), then the DBA is responsible, unless the DBA's better judgement was overridden by someone above him/her.

     However, if data-breach happens because the developers insisted that the application user has enhanced rights so that they may save time by using Entity-Framework, then the person who overrode the DBA is responsible, in the event of a data-breach by means of poor coding in the application.

      If someone with the authority to order data, orders data and then leaks it, the DBA is not responsible. The person who leaks the data is.

  • Thanks for the comments, all very valid.  I read that Facebook *expected* CA to use their data correctly and to remove it once they had finished with it, not to then go and use it to influence US Presidential Elections. :crazy:

    The world in general has a lot to learn about "data".

    qh

    [font="Tahoma"]Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.[/font]
  • quackhandle1975 - Friday, June 1, 2018 2:57 AM

    Thanks for the comments, all very valid.  I read that Facebook *expected* CA to use their data correctly and to remove it once they had finished with it, not to then go and use it to influence US Presidential Elections. :crazy:

    The world in general has a lot to learn about "data".

    qh

    One solution for this problem, of FaceBook and Google sharing data with 3rd party clients, is to have a more service oriented business model where the client requests data analysis based on specific parameters, the analytics is performed by an in-house FaceBook department, and then FaceBook hands over the result. Not only does this involve sharing less detailed data, but it gives FaceBook more transparency and control over how their data is used. What I mean is that while the data is less transparent to the 3rd party client, the use of the data is more transparent to organization that owns and distributes it. I feel that's the direction we need to go in.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • quackhandle1975 - Friday, June 1, 2018 2:57 AM

    Thanks for the comments, all very valid.  I read that Facebook *expected* CA to use their data correctly and to remove it once they had finished with it, not to then go and use it to influence US Presidential Elections. :crazy:

    The world in general has a lot to learn about "data".

    qh

    And human nature, apparently.
    Though ironically, those using the data "unexpectedly" appeared to have understood human nature all too well.

  • The concept of manipulating or steering people based on data has been around for centuries.  Ancient Rome had a long-standing practice of smear campaigns to impugn competing politicians' reputations to advance their cause.  There's also a long-standing track record of organizations, private or public using any and all info available for their own purposes, to include public opinion.  McCarthyism, the political or religious purges in Korea, China, Russia and the middle east in the 1900's all showed that large organizations and governments are very inclined to use any (public or private) data they've collected to advance their causes, including using public data about you against you.  

    The main new item I think however is the level of data available and the strong-arming that has happened from various tech giants, essentially trying to strip everyone of any privacy.  Google and Facebook, to name two, basically have a contract of adhesion: either submit to giving up all expectations that you data won't be gathered and collated, or stay off of our system entirely.  Thanks to those tactics, pretty much everyone else hopped on board.  I know the genie is already out of the bottle, but we really need to figure out how to put the limits back in to a rational level.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • Heh... MS seems to be one of the leaders in the area of how private data will be used.  After reading their latest privacy statement for O365, I came away with the serious impression that you can summarize it all in just a sentence or two.

    My words, not MS'...
    Here's how we're going to use your data and we can change that anytime we like and, yes, we're sending it to a bunch of people you might not want to actually have such data.  If you don't like that, don't use our products (says the drug pusher to the addicts 😉 )

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Jeff Moden - Friday, June 1, 2018 9:45 AM

    Heh... MS seems to be one of the leaders in the area of how private data will be used.  After reading their latest privacy statement for O365, I came away with the serious impression that you can summarize it all in just a sentence or two.

    My words, not MS'...
    Here's how we're going to use your data and we can change that anytime we like and, yes, we're sending it to a bunch of people you might not want to actually have such data.  If you don't like that, don't use our products (says the drug pusher to the addicts 😉 )

    I trust Microsoft with my personal data more than I would FaceBook, Google, or Equifax. Microsoft's core business is selling software and services, and whatever data selling or sharing they do is just a marginal side hustle. In contrast, the other companies mentioned are pure data brokers. Yes, FaceBook, Google, and Equifax have applications and even consumer product oriented lines of business, but if you look closely they are all carefully engineered to expand the surface area of data they collect about their customers. They have to hoard data in order to survive, and I don't trust desperate people or organizations that feel threatened.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Actually Cambridge (despite the hype)  was a very small player in the very early campaigns.

    RNC and DNC have their own massive data collection, and these were the primary sources during the election. What Cambridge did was steal data that was otherwise being 'legitimately' sold to the parties.

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • jay-h - Friday, June 1, 2018 11:47 AM

    Actually Cambridge (despite the hype)  was a very small player in the very early campaigns.

    RNC and DNC have their own massive data collection, and these were the primary sources during the election. What Cambridge did was steal data that was otherwise being 'legitimately' sold to the parties.

    I don't think fake (or even real) news on social media does much to change opinion on an individual level. I mean, it's not as if previous Clinton supporters voted for Trump after reading a blog post about Hillary Clinton running a child pornography club in the basement of a pizza restaurant. At most it might have fired up certain unwitting demographics, the type of folks who might otherwise have stayed at home, to actually show up on election day and vote. Yes, it's nothing new.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Eric M Russell - Monday, June 4, 2018 12:54 PM

    I don't think fake (or even real) news on social media does much to change opinion on an individual level. I mean, it's not as if previous Clinton supporters voted for Trump after reading a blog post about Hillary Clinton running a child pornography club in the basement of a pizza restaurant. At most it might have fired up certain unwitting demographics, the type of folks who might otherwise have stayed at home, to actually show up on election day and vote. Yes, it's nothing new.

    I think it is more insidious than that. Someone viewing social media is shown messages to which they have a proclivity to accept with less scrutiny than they would normally employ. This is the thin end of the wedge.
    The easiest people to fool are those who think they can't be fooled.

  • David.Poole - Monday, June 4, 2018 1:09 PM

    Eric M Russell - Monday, June 4, 2018 12:54 PM

    I don't think fake (or even real) news on social media does much to change opinion on an individual level. I mean, it's not as if previous Clinton supporters voted for Trump after reading a blog post about Hillary Clinton running a child pornography club in the basement of a pizza restaurant. At most it might have fired up certain unwitting demographics, the type of folks who might otherwise have stayed at home, to actually show up on election day and vote. Yes, it's nothing new.

    I think it is more insidious than that. Someone viewing social media is shown messages to which they have a proclivity to accept with less scrutiny than they would normally employ. This is the thin end of the wedge.
    The easiest people to fool are those who think they can't be fooled.

    I believe that, broadly speaking, foolish people who don't scrutinize news or commentary have made up their mind about big picture things like politics and society a long time ago; they inherited their opinions from parents or peers early in life. Sure, they are fooled by the fake news, but does it ultimately sway their opinion in terms of choosing one option over the other on election day? Now, deciding whether or not to show up all the polls on a rainy election day, that's where getting fired up about fake news makes an impact for fools. 

    There is that small percentage of voters known as independents or undecideds, but it seems they are the ones who scrutinize information the most.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply