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A Boodle of Queer

In the noirish comedy classic Mister 880, Burt Lancaster plays a Secret Service agent closing in on the elusive, eponymous counterfeiter who only fakes enough small bills to live a modest existence.

At one pivotal moment in the film, as Lancaster’s agent leaps to an incorrect conclusion, Dorothy McGuire’s character blurts out, “What did you think it was – a boodle of queer?”

Oh for the lost language of that bygone era.

McGuire’s question contained none of the pejorative connotations such a statement might hold today. Instead, she was asking Lancaster if he was accusing her of passing counterfeit bills. Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my point: one of the less discussed risks that come with our data sharing culture is that of fakery or, more insidiously, alterations made to documents we’ve crafted.

This point was made in a big way recently when it was learned that a great deal of confidential information was being posted to the Chinese fine sharing site Baidu Library. It was bad enough for the affected companies to find that trade secrets and other protected information was being shared via Baidu, but it turns out that not all of the information was genuine.

In effect, Baidu Library was being used to pass off a boodle of queer. But instead of currency, the counterfeits being put into circulation were documents posing as technical documents, corporate training manuals, and other information related to companies like Sony and Hitatchi.

Consider the potential damage from bogus documents, with your brand, being passed along as if they were the real thing. Might there be a risk of reputational damage?

Document protection is an imperative that has implications across the scope of a business. Financial, reputational, and operational implications are all in play.

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