In large businesses, a database is a live system, being used on a second-by-second basis, and as a result of this dynamicity, it has to be constantly backed up. Every time an entry is made into that database, a copy is made of that record.
“At some point in the day that entire database will be backed up – probably to at least two different locations, one of which will almost certainly be off site. Studies have shown over the years that a given organisation will have anything up to eight copies of any piece of data”, said Bob Plumridge, regional CTO of Hitachi Data Systems.
“That’s OK, until you want to strip things out of that data. You could take my name, my address, my email address and my telephone number out of the live system, you could probably take it out of the first copy, but how do you go about doing that with the six other copies – most of which are probably not even in the same location?”, said Plumridge.
Plumridge believes businesses are acutely aware of the difficulties they may soon face, but that overcoming these challenges is proving more difficult.
“Businesses are increasingly concerned that not only is this data being used in a legally correct way, but also an ethically correct way. The last thing they want to do is launch into these products and then find they’re in trouble with the ICO or the EU over data privacy.
“There is a lot of legal discussion around the ‘right to be forgotten’, but if such a policy were to be enacted tomorrow, in my view most organisations would not be able to comply with it”, said Plumridge.
Source: The Guardian