Technology Update

Information regarding technology news

Taking Your Practice Paperless

Jeff Panik, an Investment advisor at Community Bank of the South in Smyrna, Ga., knows something about leaps of faith — three years ago, he sent all his clients’ paperwork through the back of an industrial shredding truck. And while he had a knot in his stomach at the time, he hasn’t looked back since.

Back in 2008, Panik was facing a problem familiar to any successful advisor: “More clients meant more filing cabinets, and I was at the point of running out of room” he says. Because the job is so security-sensitive, it all had to be safely locked away in Panik’s office.

Panik knew he was at capacity, and that as his business got bigger, his problem would only get worse. So he decided to go paperless at a cost of $95 per month. 


Privacy Commissioner launches public consultations on privacy implications of cloud computing

Consultation process, including June discussion forum in Calgary, to shed light on privacy issues raised by emerging technologies

OTTAWA, February 11, 2010 — The Privacy Commissioner of Canada announced today upcoming consultations with Canadians on privacy issues related to cloud computing practices.

“Businesses and individual Canadians are increasingly likely to make use of cloud computing technologies,” said Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. “And yet, they are often unaware that their activities could be affecting their own privacy. Our goal is to learn more about these issues, so that Canadians, in turn, can also become better informed.”

This is the second public consultation aimed at exploring technological trends that are likely to affect the privacy of Canadians. Last month the Commissioner announced that a similar process will focus on the online tracking, profiling and targeting of consumers by marketers and other businesses.

Cloud computing typically refers to the provision of web-based services using hardware and software managed by third parties. The services, including online file storage, social networking sites, webmail and online business applications, are generally located on remote computers. They are available over network connections, regardless of the user’s own location.

Proponents of cloud computing say it gives business and private users free or low-cost access to powerful computer resources, without having to purchase these resources themselves. Critics, however, warn about potential privacy risks. Users, for instance, could lose control over their personal information stored in a cloud, including where it may be stored, who has access to it, and how it may be used, retained or disclosed. Data, moreover, may be stored on computers located in different countries, where it is subject to local laws.

The consultation will give the Office a comprehensive understanding of the privacy issues raised by cloud computing technology and will contribute to the development of new public education and outreach materials. It will also help shape the Office’s input into the next parliamentary review of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The consultation process begins today with a call for participation by interested parties. The Office is inviting written submissions of up to 15 pages in length, which will be accepted until April 15. The Office is also seeking expressions of interest from individuals wanting to take part in a formal discussion panel, to be held in Calgary in June. The intent is to canvass a broad range of views from business, government, academics, consumer associations and civil society. Consultations on the privacy issues raised by the tracking, profiling and targeting of consumers by marketers and other businesses were announced January 18 and will take place in Toronto in April and Montreal in May.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is mandated by Parliament to act as an ombudsman, advocate and guardian of privacy and the protection of personal information rights of Canadians.

For more information, contact:

Anne-Marie Hayden
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Tel: (613) 995-0103


Most Organizations Not Yet Aware of Information Management Inadequacies

An  AIIM survey has found that most of the respondent IT decision makers consider effective management of electronic information as “important” or “very important”.

But the most interesting finding was the high confidence the respondents placed on the information management systems of their organization. This finding is actually interpreted as illustrating the degree to which inadequacies of information management are ignored by respondent organizations.

To find more about it please visit  here


PDF is the Format of Choice for Document Archiving

The  AIIM Market IQ report: “Content Creation and Delivery – The On-Ramps and Off-Ramps of ECM”  details research that found that 90% of organizations are using the PDF file format for long-term storage of scanned documents, and 89% are converting Office files to PDF for distribution and archive. Not surprisingly, paper is currently used by 100% of organizations, but when asked to predict the situation in 5 years time, use of paper for long-term storage dropped to 77%, whereas PDF rose to 93%.

Time-honored storage on microfilm or fiche is still used by 43% of organizations, but this is expected to drop to 28% over the next five years. At the other end of the media spectrum, 34% of organizations are archiving digital video, rising to a projected 47% in 5 years. Digital audio archiving will rise from 30% to 37%.

According to Betsy Fanning, Director of Standards at AIIM, the rapid acceptance of the PDF standard is partly due to the development of PDF/A as a dedicated archive format. PDF/A files need to be entirely self-contained, with no links to external fonts or hyperlinks. For scanned images, PDF provides a wrapper for a number of alternative compressed formats. PDF/A became an ISO standard in 2005, and we have seen a further boost this past year with the release of PDF itself as an open ISO standard,” says Fanning. PDF/A is a good option for archiving electronic documents and is far better than archiving native files from any specific application.” (Source: PRWeb Press Release Newswire)


New York State Issues Comprehensive E-Records Study on Openness

The New York State Office for Technology and the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department, issued a report today that examines how the state can provide choice, interoperability and vendor neutrality in electronic document creation while ensuring electronic records are preserved and remain accessible. “A Strategy for Openness: Enhancing E-Records Access in New York State” makes recommendations to promote openness and transparency aimed at ensuring public records remain free from being locked into proprietary systems and software applications.

“As the state continues to conduct more and more business electronically, the importance of preserving e-records for historical reference is paramount,” said Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York Chief Information Officer and Director of the Office for Technology and co-sponsor of the study group, with Christine Ward, State Archivist. “This report is the first step to improve openness in records retention for the state and we expect additional recommendations for technical standards to evolve as we continue on down the openness path,” said Mayberry-Stewart.

The full report is available on the New York State Office for Technology website here

For more information about New York State ESRA, please see here.