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February 25, 2006


All I can say is … wow.

I’d hate to be one of the former Enron employees who’s [sic] SSN, credit card number, home address, phone number, etc. was readily available for anyone with a rudimentary regex parser

The public’s got a right to know 'n all, but couldn’t they have redacted this information?

Posted by distler at February 25, 2006 10:16 PM

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Re: Disclosure

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the million or so emails from top and middle management in Enron in an effort to enlist the public (probably the ex-Enron employees) in the search for incriminating evidence. I believe that employees were given a grace period to redact the information but, as we see from the quoted post, this did not stop private data from becoming public. The very rationale for the release, using a distributed number of readers to sift thru the huge volume of emails, precluded the redaction of the private data in any consciencious way.

As one of the authors of a paper that used the Enron Email Dataset to develop some new techniques to automatically correlate topics and people, I can vouch for the scientific importance of this dataset. But my experience with the data has scared the living daylights out of me in regards to using my employer’s email for any private matters. Your employer owns everything you write in a business email and thus you should never, ever ever, use it for anything private. Out of all the misery that Enron’s collapse has caused, let us hope that everyone that comes across this post is reminded of how un-private your business correspondence is and that you should never use it for private communications. That means much more than SSNs and credit card numbers, by the way – no telling your significant other when you are coming home for dinner, etc.

Posted by: Andres Corrada-Emmanuel on March 12, 2006 1:59 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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