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148: Defining Data Breaches – Interview with Fred Wilf

Founder of Wilftek LLC.

In this episode of My Quest for the Best, Fred Wilf discusses recent data breaches and the unique nature of privacy policies in the U.S., and explains what could cause a lawyer to develop such an interest in technology.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • Why it’s essential for businesses to make customer security a priority
  • The ins and outs of Data Breach Notification Laws
  • How Privacy Laws differ from country to country
  • The reasons why continuing tech education is needed
  • How governments can encourage technological development

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:20 Wilf tells about his early work experience.

2:18 “Policy was always something that interested me in terms of how the policies chosen by governments and by people affected others. And in many ways, long term policy decisions will lead to short term life and death decision.”

3:30 [On an early fascination with technology] “I was always a bit of a tinkerer, and known for pulling stuff apart from an early age.”

4:44 “People didn’t understand why a lawyer would have any interest in computers.”

5:22 [Profiles of the Ideal Client] – “There are are several profiles for my ideal client. One profile is the funded startup, they have some money, they’re able to carry out their strategy, they’re moving towards sales and revenue positive as quickly as possible.”

5:42 “For the larger companies that I work with, a number of Fortune 500 companies, I tend to be more specific as to their needs, filling in where they don’t already have someone in house or outside.”

6:35 Healthcare company case study, and how Wilf used his expertise in privacy and copyright law to help them problem solve.

8:00 The two ways Wilf helps with clients.

8:51 Wilf describes some common areas of legal misunderstanding.

9:38 “Privacy law has the foundation from country to country, state to state, but implemented in a very different from manner from state to state and country to country, and most people don’t know when they get into this how to navigate those changes.”

10:36 “One of the principles in privacy law is that a company or entity that controls individual personal info must explain to those individuals how that information is being used, processed, and stored.”

11:22 The importance of transparency, and privacy policies, in handling consumer information.

12:45 “Users can certainly educate themselves and have a better understanding of how their data is being used. Maybe that will change who they share data with, and maybe it won’t.”

13:24 “The transparency is not there because all consumers will use it, because frankly consumers won’t, the transparency is there for those users who want to control how their data is being used.”

13:50 How UBER failed to be transparent in their use of consumer data.

16:15 The case of Target’s privacy breach, and how the technology of the time couldn’t have prevented it, but whether the executive decision makers could have.

17:19 “One aspect that needs to change is that businesses need to use as much security as they can afford.”

17:44 “Consumers need to understand that some of these attacks can be prevented, some of these attacks, I don’t think they could’ve been prevented really.”

18:11 “The reason why we know about the Target case, and this is an interesting aspect of policy, is that we now have a series of laws called data breach notification laws where Target, or any other company who is breached, is required to notify all the people whose information is in the database that’s been hacked.”

19:18 [On Data Breach Notification Laws] – “If if wasn’t for that change of policy, I’m not sure we’d have as much interest in privacy or security that we have today,”

20:31 The differences between US and EU Privacy Law.

23:52 “Different governments in different countries have their very different view on foreign privacy.”

24:08 “The more stringent a privacy law is, the more expensive it is to implement those laws to the businesses who have to implement them.”

25:56 “Some of the technology needs to be changed so that clicking on a link…isn’t going to affect the servers containing personal information.”

27:05 “Whatever you’re doing with policy, whatever you’re doing in technology, this has real world consequences for users.”

28:18 “Information Technology is still relatively premature.”

28:53 “There’s still a huge gap between the users of the technology, which today is everybody, and those who use the technology well.”

29:27 “Because we don’t know how the technology works, it’s on the tech professionals to make the technology easier to use and more bulletproof.”

31:53 “The government has shown, perhaps wisely, that it’s not very good at defining technology standards, they’ve mostly left that up to the tech companies to define their own standards.”

33:00 How governments can encourage the development of technological standards.

34:32 “Governments, through it’s contracting process, and buying technology, can encourage the developments of better, stronger, more secure systems.”

35:10 Sources where people can stay abreast of privacy and security issues.

Expert Bio

Fred Wilf is an attorney who represents people and companies for technology and intellectual property issues. Briefly working as a programmer during college, Fred used that experience as a spur to investigate the intersection of technology, intellectual property and business for the last 30+ years. About half of Fred’s experience has been in large law firms (Saul Ewing and Morgan Lewis), while the other half has been in small and boutique law, firms, including his current practice, Wilftek LLC. For some companies, Fred is the outside general counsel, helping with any and all legal issues that may arise. For other companies, especially the larger companies, Fred focuses on particular types of technology agreements and consulting. In addition to his work for clients, Fred writes, speaks and teaches on topics in technology law, and provides pro bono legal services to charities and other non-profits.

For more information, visit Fred Wilf’s company website.

Contact Info for Fred Wilf

Web address: http://www.wilftek.com/

Travels from: Worcester, PA

Phone: (215) 205-0059

Follow, connect, and learn from this guest’s social media channels:

LinkedIn Twitter

Resources Mentioned by Fred Wilf on My Quest for the Best:

USPTO.gov

copyright.gov

ftc.gov

iapp.org

144: 9 Steps to a Better Bottom Line – Featured Interview with Dorriah Rogers

Founder of Paradyne Consulting Works

In this episode of My Quest for the Best, Dorriah Rogers talks with Bill Ringle about the principles and benefits described in Decide to Profit.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The impact a mentor had on Rogers’ life and career, and how he inspired her to be her own person.
  • How the Lego company used a single, unified goal to really turn things around.
  • The importance of not only giving everyone in the company or organization, not just the decision makers, a voice.
  • How to teach employees to tie their ideas to the overarching goal: making money.
  • Rogers’ 9 steps to a better bottom line.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:15: [On the mentorship of Tom Schumacher] – “[Schumacher] inspired me to be a problem-solver and a speaker, and he showed great faith in my abilities and always pushed me to be my own person.”

1:59: “I’ve never really been an employee. I’m what I call a serial entrepreneur.”

2:20: [On what it means to be your own person] – “Not being easily influenced by either peer pressure, social pressure, or any other types of pressure that may exist either in the workplace or in society.”

2:44: The 3 primary aspects of any business.

3.27: [On finding and keeping clients] – “I’ve started with a handful of people that I’ve come in contact with, and they saw what I was doing, they saw my work ethic and my reputation, and some of them gave me a chance. That’s really all it took, was getting my foot in the door.”

4:07 [Characteristics of an ideal client] – “I think one of the primary characteristics, more than anything, is openness. What I mean by openness is openness to change.”

4:36 [On client transparency] – “I’ve gone into situations where I talked to some of the key managers, and although they recognize they have a problem, they don’t recognize that they need to change. And they’re not willing to look in the mirror.”

6:30 [On asking the difficult questions] – “I may attend a meeting, and I may interrupt the meeting and say something to the leader, or maybe even the CEO or exec, and challenge them in front of the team. Saying ‘hey, why are you asking that question?’ or ‘hey, it may be a good idea for you to listen to some of the other input.’ Or perhaps, ‘We haven’t heard from Jim, let’s hear what Jim thinks.”

7:14 “I really challenge people to get outside of their own heads, to push them to think and behave differently.”

7:54 [On building trust with clients] – “Before I begin any of the real work, I will spend a lot of one on one time with the decision maker. I will get to know them as people. I will ask them a lot of questions. I will get them to what I call the comfort point. And also, I will ask their permission. I will let them know that I will ask hard questions, and get their permission to do so.”

8:55 Rogers’ Inspiration for writing Decide to Profit: The 9 Steps in a Better Bottom Line

10:40 The nine steps in a better bottom line.

12:00 [On the importance of understanding the goal] –  “A lot of people get mired in the day to day tasks and activities. And they kind of grind through their day. They have a tendency not to stay focused on the bigger picture.”

12:30 [The fundamental driving force behind the company] – “My whole purpose in writing both the book, and identifying the goal – as one of the steps, is to keep people focused on the bigger picture. And in any company, and any organization…the fundamental driving force behind the company is making money. So there’s an overarching financial goal.”

12:55 “And my idea was, have everybody within the organization tie every decision that they are making to the larger goals of the organization. Number 1 has to always be: making money.”

13:30 [On the importance of quality] – “The quality of your product, that also has to be a goal. You can’t make money and sacrifice quality, because that’s not sustainable.”

13:40 [Deciding the profit] – “Every organization can have 1, 2, or 3 goals that they are primarily focused on. And if you make sure that everyone knows what those goals are, and tie their day to day decisions to them, that’s how you can decide the profit.”

14:04 The importance of keeping day to day decision in line with organizational goals

15:10 The Lego study

16:09 [Sacred cows] – “In some of the companies that I’ve worked with, I see them hold on to business decisions, or I see them hold on to product. I even see them hold on to no-productive people. And all of this is counterintuitive, and it’s not in alignment with the overall goals of the organization.”

16:32 [On unified goals] – “[The lego study] shows how one single unified goal enabled a company to completely turn around.”

17:31 [On teams holding themselves accountable] –  “Have you ever been in a meeting where there’s a lot of discussion and a lot of ideas, and everyone leaves the meeting and 90% of the ideas and discussion has been forgotten? That’s what I experience in a lot of the companies I work with. There’s a lot of ideas, a lot of good discussion, a lot of innovative discussion, yet nobody ever captured the discussion, nobody ever circled back – there was no feedback loop, and there was no accountability.”

18:23 [On accountability] – “What makes people accountable can be something as simple as an action list. And I don’t mean minutes, I don’t mean a detailed list of who said what verbatim. I mean, a ‘we talked about this, we decided to do this, this person owns it, and this is when they’re going to get it done.’”

19:45 [On employee contribution] – “In the book I have a tool for employees to do a very straightforward return on investment analysis. One of the disconnects that I was increasingly becoming aware of is that managers would often miss ideas because they couldn’t see how that idea would benefit the organization.”

20:16  [On helping employees choose ideas that are tied to financial goals] “The benefit of the 9th step is that it provides employees a tool and a methodology to demonstrate both quantitatively and qualitatively how to give an investment to the organization and show how their idea will either improve the financial goals or other goals.”

21:38 The importance of checklists and forms for employees.

23:00 [On brainstorming] – “The people that make the decisions tend to shoot down the ideas of those that don’t make the decisions. Allowing people to free think, allowing for ideas to be equally valuable no matter who they’re coming from, is very, very important. All of the rules that I put down for brainstorming are a result of all of those rules being broken during brainstorming meeting I’ve been to.”

24:21 Rogers describes the timeline and process of writing Decide to Profit: 9 Steps to a Better Bottom Line

25:03 “The book isn’t written for specialists. The book is not meant to be a dissertation on continuous improvement or operational streamlining or productivity. It’s meant to be a comprehensive overview of all of it, and it’s meant to be understandable, and it’s meant to be utilized by both managers and employees.”

26:06 Discoveries Rogers made during the writing process.

26:50 [On staying humble] – “I found that I fall prey to a lot of the same things that executives fall prey to, which is, believing my own press, believing my ideas are the best, believing that only my opinions count. I’ve found that really listening to the people around me makes a big difference.”

27:00 Rogers discusses some of the milestones in her career, and the significant clients she’s worked with

28:42 The two primary factors of inefficiency, and the importance of time management.

30:12 Roger’s preferred tools for productivity during travel.

Expert Bio

Dorriah Rogers, Ph.D., began her career in the engineering and advanced technology industry in the late 1990s. She founded Paradyne Consulting Works in 2003, and brings almost 20 years of unique experience providing guidance to numerous Fortune 500 organizations throughout North America. She specializes in identifying and solving issues affecting efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Her client base includes Fortune 100 organizations, as well as the Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As CEO of Paradyne Consulting Works, she has led her team in the areas of productivity and process improvement, strategic business planning, operational streamlining, profitability, and organizational change management.

For more information, visit Dorriah Rogers’s company website.

Contact Info for Dorriah Rogers

Web address: http://www.paradyneconsulting.com/

Travels from: Thousand Oak, CA

Phone: 858-442-4295

Follow, connect, and learn from this guest’s social media channels:

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter YouTube

Resources Mentioned by Dorriah Rogers on My Quest for the Best: