There has been a lot of noise in the past week made by the EU who says three major search engines are holding onto search data too long. A new release from ConverterTechnology ensures safe migration to Office 2010.

Search Engine Trouble With EU Privacy Watchdog

If you thought there were problems about privacy, search engines and data retention then it turns out you were right – in the EU at least.

In a statement issued by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (W29), a group of European data protection authorities, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft were told that they were still not in compliance with EU regulations governing search data and anonymity.

While W29 recognized all three search engines’ efforts to implement their data protection legislation, W29 is still not happy and in a letter to the companies has asked them to use an outside auditor to “verify their commitments to make users’ internet search data truly anonymous.”

Copies of these letters were also sent to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

In the letter to the FTC, the Working Party asks it to examine the compatibility of search engine practices with section five of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices. The letters follow the Working Party’s call for the companies to cut to six months the period during which they store search data before it is made anonymous.

In its letter to Google, the Working Party asks the company to cut the retention period from the current nine months to six months.

Considering Google’s dominant position in almost every EU Member State, with a market share of up to 95% in some national search engine markets, the company has a significant role in European citizens’ daily lives. The company’s apparent lack of focus in data retention is concerning,” the letter said.

The letters were only issued last week so probably a little early for an official response. Wait and watch!

Converting To Office 2010 Safely

ConverterTechnology has unveiled a new version of its OfficeConverter software that migrates all information quickly and safely to Office 2010.

OfficeConverter 2010 is designed to eliminate the threats to business continuity for unprepared companies, including long-term downtime, reduced worker productivity and potential regulatory compliance liabilities, as well as cost savings by speeding up user adoption.

It offers file discovery and transformation tools that identify and fix problematic Access, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, as well as any associated links, macros and Visual Basic for Application (VBA) customizations during enterprise-wide Office 2010 migrations.

The tools identify all of the files that should be converted, flag files at risk of corruption or incompatibility and fix problems automatically to ensure the migration goes as smoothly as possible.

The company also provides process templates, methodologies and best practices that guide organizations through the deployment.

Archiving, SM And Compliance

Increased use of social media and messaging in the enterprise are forcing some companies to look at ways of keeping track of the information being exchanged through these channels. Already the Library of Congress has decided to archive all tweets -- an estimated 50 million per day -- as historical record.

Private companies looking at archiving this content include cloud-archiving vendor Sonian, which has rolled out new capabilities for its cloud-based archiving service, enabling companies to archive social media and instant messaging (IM) communications.

The new functions, the company says, meet compliance with regulatory mandates such as FINRA and FRCP, including the new FINRA regulations governing social media use, enacted in early 2010.

It can archive all social media communications that take place on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as archiving IM communications on services such as Yahoo! Messenger, Google Chat, MSN Messenger, AIM, Microsoft Office Communications Server and other platforms.

It spans Microsoft Exchange, Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus, along with Web-based email applications. It is available now and comes with price tags that will make it particularly attractive to SMBs, Sonian says.

DoD To Protect Networks?

Could be that the Department of Defence will be taking on a bigger role in protecting networks, even private networks in the future as concern in Washington about cyber attacks grows.

With this in mind a new a task force comprising industry and government information technology and defense interests has been created to look at critical infrastructure network security.

One possibility being discussed is the development and deployment of Einstein 2 and 3 for civilian networks. The intrusion detection and prevention systems are being developed by the Homeland Security Department for use on government computer networks.

Einstein 2 is in place in at least 11 of the 21 government agencies that police their own networks while Einstein 3 is in a trial phase. The idea is that protection will be voluntary and private sector organizations could opt in or out.