News broke this past week that HP board chairperson, Patricia Dunn, had ordered a probe into how information was being leaked to the press. This investigation led to the obtaining of personal phone records of some directors, and at least two reporters covering HP. The investigation conducted by a company hired by HP used a controversial technique called “pretexting” to obtain the personal phone records of sister site CNET reporters Dawn Kawamoto and Tom Krazit, California state prosecutors said. Pretexting is an illegal method of obtaining personal records through misrepresentation of someone’s identity.
Dunn has resigned as chair of the Board, although she will remain on as a director. Another director has been forced to resign. The issue was raised by a non-executive director who resigned earlier this year in protest over the investigation, and took his complaint to the AG.
Right now, this story is simply proof that the connection economy exists. Its not just what you sell anymore, its who you are that people are worried about. How HP responds will be critical, and interesting to watch. An unanswered question for me is: “who was leaking the information, and did the inquiry come to any conclusions?” The answer to that question may be HP’s rescue boat. But, in this new era of transparency, its not just what you do, but how you do it that counts. HP are finding this out the tough way.

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