Latest On HP: Dunn's Claim Of Ignorance Falling Apart

from the still-getting-worse dept

The best hope for HP that its scandal might go away is if the media gets tired of reporting on the story and the daily flow of new revelations. Today, the New York Times cites internal documents indicating that HP explored aggressive spying measures such as infiltrating the clerical or janitorial staffs of CNET and the Wall Street Journal. It’s not clear, yet, that the company engaged in such activity, but it indicates a willingness to pursue a wide variety of fraud in order to plug some relatively minor leaks. Not to be outdone by the Times, the Wall Street Journal has obtained its own internal documents that dispute the assertion that Chairman Patricia Dunn stood at arms’ length from the investigation, and didn’t know the tactics being used. In fact, both Dunn and the company’s General Counsel Ann Baskins worked closely with the investigation and knew of its tactics, according to internal emails. If there’s a smoking gun, from a legal perspective, these emails could be it. It’s still not entirely clear how law enforcement will proceed at this point, but at this rate, the pile of damning evidence is only growing higher.

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Comments on “Latest On HP: Dunn's Claim Of Ignorance Falling Apart”

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Dominic Jones (user link) says:

Most Trusted Companies For Privacy Award

I love the irony of these things. While looking into the background on this story saying half of directors say they’ve been subjected to “aggressive” surveillance from companies whose boards they serve on, I found a news release (caution: stupid PDF document) from March 7, 2006:


“The Most Trusted Company for Privacy Award illustrates the heart of TRUSTe’s mission. It celebrates the brands that respect people’s privacy, encourages a safer digital marketplace and helps Internet users understand privacy issues,” said Fran Maier, president and executive director of TRUSTe. “These three companies are trusted by consumers and experts alike. They are different in size and scope, helping to prove that security concerns aren’t limited to certain industries or giant conglomerates, but apply to everyone.”

One of the three companies recognized for respecting people’s privacy was HP. Later in the same release we get this gem from an HP staffer:

“HP believes the protection of privacy is a fundamental measure of HP’s integrity, both as a business and a global citizen. We support that belief with a global, company-wide privacy organization to ensure our policies are enforced,” said David Lear, vice president, Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility, HP. “Keeping up world-class privacy standards is a matter of constant diligence. We hope to lead by example and help create a safer Internet. TRUSTe is helping to raise these issues in a positive way through these recognition programs.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Reed says:

Whats next HP's own private army?

It amazes me to see how far companies will go to protect their own interests. They already make most of the decesion about our lives, I guess a little invasion of privacy isn’t that big of a deal anymore. After all our own government is openly spying on us everyday. I wonder when this will come full circle and corporations will just have their own mercenary armies to take care of problems that arise…Shadowrun anyone?

Stack says:

From Good Morning Silicon Valley

Meanwhile, in what will surely be one of the more surreal events of the year, Dunn will be on the dais tonight for her induction into the Bay Area Council’s Business Hall of Fame, putting her in the company of Gordon Moore, George Lucas, and (somebody get a towel and clean up all this dripping irony) Bill Hewlett and David Packard. Showing the fighting spirit that took her from a part-time secretarial job at Wells Fargo Investment Advisors to the big chair at HP’s board table (and through bouts of three different cancers), Dunn will show up and take the podium despite the unfortunate timing. A remarkable career, to be sure, and one that will be studied, though for what lessons we must wait and see.

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