Keeping data secure

Following the news this week that South Wales Police have been hit with a fine of £160,000 for not reporting missing data for two years, I got thinking about the importance of keeping data secure.

The case itself is an extreme example of why you should keep data secure.  You really don’t want evidence in a very serious case just going walk about.  Beyond that, looking more towards home personal data, there are many good reasons of why you want data to be secure, and many ways of doing it.

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XML is your friend

I’ve been working a lot recently with data import and exports between systems.  Obviously different systems have a variety of ways they can export data, and some even have multiple ways of importing data, but none of them seem to have a standard type for the file data.  In recent weeks I have worked with:

Files where fields are delimited with a #
Files where fields are delimited with a ^
Files where fields are delimited with a , (typical CSV files)
Files where everything is nicely structured XML

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