Friday, February 27, 2009

What is records management? Highlights of chapter 3 of the second edition of Information Nation

Records management is a particularly important activity within the umbrella of information management, as it typically deals with the most sensitive, valuable and challenging information in an organization, from the point at which this information is created, until it is no longer needed.

Essential elements of an effective records management program include up-to-date program directives, proper training to ensure thorough implementation, building organizational awareness of the program, and auditing the program for adequacy, effectiveness, and efficiency. Electronic records present special challenges because they can be so easily altered. Assuring the trustworthiness of electronic records is critical, particularly in the legal and regulatory context.

The second edition of Information Nation discusses the four important components of a good records management program, as well as other significant parts of such programs. Four essential aspects of a trustworthy record are also described. The new book is available from John W. Wiley & Sons. For more information, see

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What is a record? Highlights of chapter 2 of the second edition of Information Nation

Organizations must have a consistent method of determining where information is significant enough to be retained and managed. One major challenge is the increasingly wide variety of technologies being used to conduct business. Voicemail, blogs, wikis, Sharepoint collaboration sites—these are only examples of new technologies where business records are being created. All of these technologies involve the recording of information which memorializes a business transaction.

The second edition of Information Nation describes definitions of a record, why and where records are retained, and, just as important, circumstances in which information does not need to be retained. The book is available from John W. Wiley & Sons. For more information, see

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Total Cost of Failure: Justifying Investments in Information Management Compliance

There has been endless talk about compliance. There has been way too much banter from vendors claiming to deliver a ‘compliance solution’. Most technology purchasers are still grappling with what their ‘compliance’ problems are. So they hardly seem ready to fix what, if anything, that ails them. In any event, purchasers should be wary about claims of having the technological panacea for all ‘compliance’ problems. Such fallacious claims are akin to your doctor claiming to have one shot that can inoculate you against any disease. Simply stated, ‘one-size-fits-all’ compliance solutions cannot possibly fix all so-called ‘compliance’ problems, especially if we do not know what the problems are yet.

Read the full article here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why is information management important? Highlights of chapter 1 of the second edition of Information Nation

Huge amounts of information are being created daily. According to one estimate, there are 42 gigabytes of data for every person on the planet. The need for managing this information has never been greater.

The management of information has evolved along with the corresponding evolution of business processes and technologies. The discipline now encompasses a wide variety of activities, including records and document management, or more globally, enterprise content management; information security and privacy, and disaster recovery.

The wide-ranging implications of information management make it extremely difficult to get an overall picture of how your company manages information. Determining corporate needs and priorities in the information management arena is one of the emphases of the second edition of Information Nation. The new edition is available from John W. Wiley & Sons. For more information, see

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Stay tuned for Chapter 2 highlights!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One million dollars: The largest civil penalty paid in a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act case

A global recorded music company agreed to pay 1 million dollars to settle the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Commission’s implementing rule. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the music company, through its website, improperly collected, maintained, and disclosed personally identifiable information from thousands of children under the age of 13, without their parent’s consent.

To protect your company and its website from such a fate, you must first determine if the COPPA Rule applies to your company’s website by asking:
  • Do we direct our commercial website and online services to children under 13? If so, do we collect personal information from children under 13?
  • Do we knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 on our general audience website?
  • Does our general audience website have a separate children’s area? If so, do we collect personal information from children under 13 in this separate area?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, then your company likely falls under one of the categories of website operators who must comply with COPPA. If in doubt, compliance with the COPPA Rules is the safest bet.

Good records management is one COPPA requirement. The Rule requires that personal information collected from children is managed to maintain the confidentiality, security and integrity of the information. Your company will need good information management policies and practices to comply. Good records management practice also includes managing the privacy of those submitting their information. To comply, your company will need good privacy policies and procedures. To maintain goods records management in the long-term, your company should perform audits to confirm that the information collected from children on your website is being properly managed under these policies and procedures, including your record retention schedule.

Another COPPA requirement is the clear and conspicuous posting of a privacy policy on the homepage of your website and a link to this policy on any page where a child’s personal information is being collected. Take a look at your company’s website: if no privacy policy exists on it, you may want to bring this to the attention of your corporate counsel or CEO/CIO (if your company does not have a privacy officer).

The FTC takes privacy seriously, and so should your company.

To read about the more about these and the other COPPA Rule requirements, and the entire one million dollar penalty story, go to:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kahn Releases Second Edition of "Information Nation": The Industry Bible to Information Management Compliance

With the current economic downturn, most organizations are trying to cut back. However in a world fueled by information, to ensure you remain “faster, better, cheaper and legally compliant,” it is more important than ever to have a comprehensive plan for information management compliance.

Internationally acclaimed author, industry expert and two-time Britt Literary Award winner Randolph Kahn has released the updated second edition of "Information Nation: Seven Keys to Information Management Compliance."

Published by John W. Wiley and Sons, the book explains why this is not the time to minimize costs in information management programs. It demonstrates how to succeed in this new environment by incorporating an information management compliance philosophy into the business processes and corporate governance structure.

The book is already receiving positive reviews from other industry experts.

“Who would have thought that Information Nation – the information management compliance ‘bible’ – could be improved?” said Jay Cohen, chief compliance officer at Assurant. “The second edition of this book is a must read for any person who cares about information management or litigation readiness.”

Kahn, founder of Kahn Consulting, Inc., shares this proven methodology that adopts the principles, controls and discipline necessary to build a solid corporate compliance program.

"Information Nation" details:

New developments regarding the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Substantive changes were made to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines after the publication of the first edition. The book addresses the impact of recent case law upon the guidelines.

The electronic discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Federal Rules amendments have significantly changed the legal landscape for information management compliance. The second edition of "Information Nation" integrates the resulting changes into the content to provide the same kind of common-sense guidance which made the first edition a success.

New material incorporating information compliance news, legal decisions and regulatory updates. The field of information management compliance changes as quickly as the information technology field itself. The second edition of "Information Nation" includes new material encompassing these events and explaining how they affect the information management compliance environment.

Kahn is an internationally acclaimed speaker, consultant and award-winning author of dozens of published works including "Privacy Nation," "Information Nation Warrior," "Information Nation: Seven Keys to Information Management Compliance" and "E-Mail Rules." He is an internationally recognized authority on the legal, compliance, and policy issues of information and a trusted advisor and consultant to Fortune 500 companies, governmental agencies and court systems.

As founder of Kahn Consulting, Inc., Kahn leads a team of information management, regulatory, compliance and technology professionals who serve as consultants and advisors to major world-wide institutions.

The book is available now from John. W. Wiley & Sons at and can be purchased from most major book sellers.