Following the news that came out late yesterday concerning HP's chairperson's decision to spy on other members of the board
, using the most-likely illegal method of "pretexting" to get their confidential phone records, some more details are emerging. First, Tom Perkin's letter to the board
describing his side of the story has been posted to the Smoking Gun and is worth a read. However, much more interesting is the official HP stance on the matter. Some used our comments to point to
statements such as the one from HP's "Chief Privacy Officer" noting that "First and foremost is that privacy is actually a core value at HP. As a company, HP is 100 percent committed to excellence in consumer and employee privacy..." while others have noted how far HP leadership has traveled from its roots in "the HP Way." However, the scariest may be how HP's spokesperson defended this whole mess: "We believe that persons at all levels within the company - directors, officers and employees - must be held accountable and have the highest personal integrity."
This isn't the spokesperson's explanation for why the board is telling Chairwoman Patricia Dunn she needs to resign, but in defending the board's decision (which kicked off this mess) not to renominate long time board member George Keyworth due to his "leak" of info to the press.
So, if it's the "highest personal integrity" that HP strives for, can we compare the two candidates here? On one side we have Keyworth, who's offense was to leak to CNET News.com this sentence about a gathering by the HP board: "By the time the lectures were done at 10 p.m., we were pooped and went to bed." Keyworth did also discuss some extremely general strategies
the company was taking (HP might buy some companies) -- but nothing particularly revealing. On the other side, we've got Dunn, who hired a private investigator to pretend to be each board member in order to illegally obtain their private phone records (home and mobile phones) to figure out who had called the News.com reporter. Whether that's "pretexting," identity theft or just garden variety fraud, it certainly seems a lot more questionable on the "personal integrity" scale than chatting with a reporter. Even if leaking the info was wrong, it's hard to see how anyone (especially Dunn) can defend the pushing out of Keyworth on "integrity" issues after his actions were discovered using such methods.