Thursday, July 11, 2013

Emails Undeleted

Hard to figure out exactly what's going on here, at least for me. Information and Privacy Commissioner  Ann Cavoukian's statement suggests that Ministry of Government Services staff found the long-gone emails, put does not get more specific than that.  If I were to guess, I'd guess that the original computer advice she was given indeed turned out to be BS, and that while the docs were gone from peoples' hard drives, government IT guys were able to find them on their servers, which shouldn't surprise anyone and, therefore, shouldn't have surprised an information commissioner.

Not sure what this means about the culpability of the government aides who have been under the gun.  If you know stuff will be backed up on a server, than you might feel more free with the delete button when cleaning out your inbox. What is clear though is that Cavoukian's earlier statement was seriously in error, and the anger evident in last evening's statement from her is an attempt to direct attention away from that error.  As Norm Spector noted:


rumleyfips said...

I always thought that standard practice when an employee moves on is to close their email account and delete the contents.

jrkrideau said...

I was surprised that the emails were gone, as I thought there should be backups but if Ministry of Government Services staff said they were, it does not reflect very well on their knowledge either. Presumably Cavoukian is not a IT specialist and they were or, if not, they should have consulted with the IT experts.

As I understand it something as big as the Government of Ontario should have regular (probably daily) backups to an secure off-site storage facility just in case of some minor problem like the Great Rainstorm of 2013 that BigCityLib so telling described in an earlier post. Or more seriously like Calgary.

So yes the accounts would probably be wiped but off-site storage might have years of records but I'm not an IT expert either.