Sealaska shareholder privacy compromised

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008

This is in reference to the article (Empire, July 23) about Sealaska Corp.'s data theft of shareholder records.

Corporate officers and board directors are legally responsible and potentially liable for not protecting corporate data. The trust and stewardship of information is a responsibility of the board of directors and Sealaska management, and they need to be held accountable for the failure to protect data and shareholder privacy.

Shareholders own the Sealaska business and appoint the board of directors to be custodians and stewards of corporate capital assets and sensitive shareholder data, including directed and discretionary voting records.

Sealaska needs to develop privacy protection policies to ensure that shareholder data on notebook computers is encrypted and enforce policies that monitors who has access to corporate data.

The corporation needs to conduct periodical third-party information technology security assessments of their internal computer resources, data protection policies and identify potential risks.

Shareholders have a right to know about the loss of their information. They have a right to discuss how their privacy is protected, when, how and where the data was lost, or whether adoption records were compromised. Sealaska has to disclose information about the data loss to shareholders. This may have opened the door for shareholders to gain knowledge of how discretionary votes were used in recent elections.

With the given time-frame to sign up to use third-party fraud protection services, shareholders are given a take it or leave it option. Shareholders need to exercise their rights and request intervention of the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.

It is up to shareholders to determine the total cost of the breach of fiduciary trust, the potential loss of declared dividends, and who is responsible for the breach of shareholder privacy, because shareholder privacy has been compromised for years to come.

Ray Austin

Sealaska shareholder and information technology professional

Albuquerque, N.M.

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