Scrub Your Data

This latest incident, in which SelectQuote demonstrated its lack of controls on customer data, but skill at passing the buck, segues nicely into the utility of scrubbing data before handing it over to developers.  Especially one which you haven’t even hired yet.  When I was the one guy maintaining all web and telephony systems it might be excused, but every developer, and especially outside developers, need realistic but fake data.

Nor would I have wanted real data.  If you have ever fielded consumer complaints for a website, you are aware many end users have no idea why or who is sharing their data.  I’ve run in to cases which were obviously spyware on the user’s machine.

It’s very hard to prove to someone that you did not give their data away (“No, it could not possibly be my Antiguan Super-Porno browser extension”).  Now that the government collects insurance data, it’s even worse.  There’s a whole new set of people that could lose it.  Not to mention the shady characters at SelectQuote might sell penis pills on the side for all we know.

For the past four years SelectQuote has probably just pointed a finger in my direction when they can’t find an explanation that makes the customer go away.  While I have no incentive to screw SelectQuote’s customers, I’m still an easy target.  After all this time it’s obvious that I didn’t just make this up on a lark.  But most people a very reality-adverse, it’s easier to call people who live in the real world paranoid or drug user than look in the mirror.

SelectQuote Indirectly Shows Employee Negligence

Secret Service

They already have the drive…

When the Secret Service came over to collect SelectQuote customer data, I handed it over even though they did not have a warrant. As I consider SelectQuote’s careless handling of customer data to be a tangential issue, I wanted to cooperate fully.  While California law requires that consumers be notified when their personal information could have been accessed by an unauthorized person, I decided I didn’t need to be the one doing the notification.

I was given a hard drive with this data back in 2011, after I no longer worked for the company.  SelectQuote had wanted to hire me for some consulting work, but I never agreed to do any jobs for them.  I never signed any non-disclosure or any other agreements, but I had assume this whole time the copy of the test database was scrubbed of real customer records.

Once I realized this was not the case earlier this year, I started planing to notify customers that their data had leaked.  The Secret Service spoke to me first, so I never did send out notifications, or even determine exactly how many people were affected.  After I handed over the data, the agents said they considered the manner closed so long as I had no more copies.

I have just received a letter from SelectQuote’s lawyers. While a lawyer for SelectQuote will not come right out and say it, when you take their claims with the facts in the case, they tend to demonstrate that a SelectQuote employee was negligent with customer data.

SFPD Opposed to Defense of My Little “Abomination”

Just wanted to quickly point out a breaking story on ex-SFPD Sergeant Ian Furminger’s band of criminals.  The weenies in this city may recommend taking drugs (comment below) to be a better course of action than standing up against cops framing people, or to a war against Christians.  It turns out that officer may have fund fault with me because they were offended by my prevention of the death of my ‘abomination’, Abby.

These cops became gluttonous while feeding on the many sins this city will overlook.  Just couldn’t prevent themselves from piling on one more.  Stating half-breeds should be killed, while trying to prevent a father from protecting his daughter, might finally ruffle some feathers:

You may have to kill the half-breeds too. Don’t worry. Their (sic) an abomination of nature anyway,” (text from the SFPD)

Although incredible to me, I suppose history has shown it possible for whole groups of children to be hated to this extent.  Many people need no supervision.  The devil might make them smarter or stronger, but not really change their direction.  I do note the worst examples tend to behave much like the Pharoah did, and do exalt their leaders to the point of being a godhead, but racism alone can kill plenty of people.

Devilry, Real and Synthetic

SelectQuote Review has been going on for so long that it might be easy for readers to forget that it all started with my daughter’s life being threatened.  Even if you don’t believe in the direct interference of evil, you must remember that brain research has given us synthetic possession for fifty years:

The following excerpt from an article on PsyOps gets to the heart of the matter:

MolochMoloch?:The farmers of ancient Canaan were dependent on the weather for their livelihood.  They did not have irrigation to help them make it through droughts.  Apparently during one of these dry years the Canaanites turned to each other and said “You know what might make it rain?  Killing children.”

So they erected idols and sacrificed children to Moloch and the Baalim.  Well, there all sorts of things that science can’t easily explain.  I wrote previously about how our government and others have researched the paranormal and recruited practitioners.  Some involved in U.S. remote viewing programs have successfully capitalized on their abilities in the private sector.  Maybe, like the Canaanites before them, some at SelectQuote wondered if the magic would work that much better if they killed some kids.

Separation of Church and State

I see same-sex marriage as a separation of church and state issue.  If the state must grant legitimacy to interpersonal relationships between consenting adults, then it should not discriminate.  However, the state has no authority to determine what constitutes marriage in the eyes of God, and therefore cannot dictate what definition the churches must accept.

St. Mary's

St. Mary’s Cathedral

The city of San Francisco may wish to cast its dispute with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone as purely a labor matter, but it is not.  As the the Archbishop of San Francisco, he leads the archdiocese of San Francisco for the Roman Catholic Church.  This include the parochial schools within the city.  In this capacity, he’s attempting to enact morality clauses for teachers, with the stated intent of preventing teacher from undermining official Catholic doctrine.

Salvatore does himself no favors when you dig into the details.  By classifying masturbation and contraceptives as not just a sin but ‘gravely evil’, one has to wonder about his sense of perspective.  How high does his evil scale go?  He has given San Francisco lawmakers and lawyers an easy pitch with which to begin the process of giving them control over church doctrine.  However, whether or not he is right is irrelevant to the core issue of government intervention in church affairs.

Growing up in St. Louis, which has a strong Catholic presence, I feel Salvatore’s opponents are sharpening their knives for a larger battle than just this issue.  My mom is a lapsed Catholic, half my family is Catholic, many friends, and girl friends were Catholic.  All of them viewed the Catholic clergy’s pronouncements on sexuality with bemusement.  None of them would feel even the slightest bit guilty for being on the pill, and I can’t imagine any masturbation hang-ups.  These sorts of pronouncements were just something to laugh about.

SelectQuote Review Traffic

In my State of SelectQuote Review, I focused on qualitative, not quantitative, issues.  Of course, these don’t matter so much if no one is reading.  Being visited by both Bob Edwards and the Secret Service tells me my blog is getting read.  However, some actual measurements would help to determine what effect my migration to WordPress may be having.

Statistics vary across platforms, one cannot expect to compare Blogger built in stats to WordPress stats, and find anything meaningful.  Also, I am running my own analytics server on my domain, rather than running Google Analytics as a third party host.  However, CloudFlare provides a consistent frame of reference.

I’ve run CloudFlare since last June, so it has sat in front of both Google’s blogging platform and my self-hosted WordPress.  It shows much higher traffic overall than a Javascript solution, basically it is giving counts based on Nginx hit logs. 

Fixing WordPress Feed

I recently had an issue where RSS feeds were not correctly giving the url for each post.  The feed would list each post, and its content, but no link to the article was given.  I’m not sure if this is due to WordPress in general, or my theme (Schema) in particular.

One of the greatest benefits of open source is that you can fix bugs yourself.  In case anyone else is having issues, this is what I found: a deprecated function was being used in the feed-rss2.php file in the wp-includes directory.  The line in bold is what I changed:

while( have_posts()) : the_post();
        <title><?php the_title_rss() ?></title>
        <link><?php the_permalink() ?></link>
        <comments><?php comments_link_feed(); ?></comments>
        <pubDate><?php echo mysql2date('D, d M Y H:i:s +0000', get_post_time('Y-m-d H:i:s', true), false); ?></pubDate>
        <dc:creator><![CDATA[<?php the_author() ?>]]></dc:creator>

State of SelectQuote Review

As I’ve said, I have given up SelectQuote customer records to the Secret Service.  This is a bit of a bummer.  Their position is that I ceased to be authorized to hold those records.  Mine is that since I was given the records after I no longer worked for SelectQuote, and signed no agreement, there were no provisions to revoke my right to the data.

That might make for an interesting legal argument, if I weren’t the one facing pretrial detention and confiscation of my computers.  So I have lost the marketing angle of sending out data breach notification emails.  It is unclear how well those would have gone over anyway.  By cooperating with authorities, there is less chance of a public relations backfire.

Bob Edwards came to my workplace to talk the same kind of turkey he did before the well-oiled set-up that ran me out of SelectQuote Insurance Services.  This, along with the position of the Secret Service, would seem to indicate that everyone admits that a breach has taken place.  This places responsibilities upon SelectQuote, such as notification of affected customers.

Meanwhile, criminal matters ensnaring employees, and labor issues continue to dog SelectQuote Senior in Kansas City.  Another case of online impersonation of an ex-SelectQuote employee popped-up.  Impersonation was once again tried with me.

Turned Over SelectQuote Data

I have turned over SelectQuote’s customer records, given me while I was no longer working there, to the Secret Service.  So, you won’t be receiving emails.  I do still assert that California’s laws for disclosure of a data breach gave me a right to notify California citizens, at the least.

But arguing that the law was on my side and their side is not really a battle I wish to fight.  Their position seems reasonable, and they were professional.  Frankly, if it weren’t for Michelle Tan threatening to kill my daughter, I wouldn’t tread this far out on the ice.

I’m not going to lose my computers and face pretrial detention, just to send data breach notification emails.  Beyond those emails, I see no reasonable right to that data anyway.  While companies share your data all the time, in theory you normally have some inkling of this.  Between lawyers, you probably let SelectQuote do whatever they want with your data, and they gave it to me.