icm2re logo. icm2:re (I Changed My Mind Reviewing Everything) is an 

ongoing web column edited and published by Brunella Longo

This column deals with some aspects of change management processes experienced almost in any industry impacted by the digital revolution: how to select, create, gather, manage, interpret, share data and information either because of internal and usually incremental scope - such learning, educational and re-engineering processes - or because of external forces, like mergers and acquisitions, restructuring goals, new regulations or disruptive technologies.

The title - I Changed My Mind Reviewing Everything - is a tribute to authors and scientists from different disciplinary fields that have illuminated my understanding of intentional change and decision making processes during the last thirty years, explaining how we think - or how we think about the way we think. The logo is a bit of a divertissement, from the latin divertere that means turn in separate ways.

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Nothing like a wrong bankruptcy order to spoil my reputation?

Nudging the nudgers on gamification of governance and cybercrime

How to cite this article?
Longo, Brunella (2014). Nothing like a wrong bankruptcy order to spoil my reputation? Nudging the nudgers on gamification of governance and cybercrime. icm2re [I Changed my Mind Reviewing Everything ISSN 2059-688X (Print)], 3.11 (November).

How to cite this article?
Longo, Brunella (2014). Nothing like a wrong bankruptcy order to spoil my reputation? Nudging the nudgers on gamification of governance and cybercrime. icm2re [I Changed my Mind Reviewing Everything ISSN 2059-688X (Online)], 3.11 (November).

London, 25 November 2014 - This month I had a number of very exciting and interesting things to do but my diary has been disrupted, once again, by the urgency to correct horrible mistakes made in public records and public processes that impact mine and others' interests, activities and relationships.

Responsibility and accountability in data management practices

I have had to spend hours to make people aware of awful material mistakes made in Land Registry records and other registries, and to start formal requests needed to put such records straight. Unfortunately without much chances of success.

The rectification of mistakes in public records under privacy and other laws is an important requirement in order to safeguard mine and others' rights to have a life, a personal identity, a documented history not to be disrupted, mistaken or messed up in the public domain and in other jurisdictions: what is a "slip rule" error that could be reasonably considered as automatically rectified in an English Court of law, cannot be considered as such in a French or Italian Tribunal. If not the origin, at least the propagation of this type of mistakes should be halted through rectification because there is no possibility, at the moment, to identify with certainty who made them in the first instance.

The rectification of a mistake in public records is not always so simple: in some cases you need a Court order. Not all the Courts and Tribunals can make rectification orders to change all public records in all cases. In sum, it is a bit of a legal and administrative maze. Great help came, at least to myself, from Rectification by David Hodge QC, a reference book published in 2010.

Towards ripples of rectifications?

On the 23rd November the Home Secretary announced new plans to give law enforcement powers to investigate uses and abuses of IP addresses in connection with criminal activities. (Theresa May moves to give police powers to identify internet users, The Guardian, 23 Nov; Security bill: The challenge of identifying internet users, BBC News, 24 November).

I found myself totally agree with this direction in spite of the fact that I have considered since long this type of measures very poor if not technically vane and ineffective. On the specific point, I changed opinion because it seems that even if it is true that they are not perfect and not resolutive in a Court of Law, and often perceived as unpopular and against civil liberties, such measures allow law enforcement, judiciary and data management communities to really start talking and working together for the common purpose of policing cyberspace.

It would be great if the civil service, the NHS and the same law enforcement community commenced piloting these measures within their own networks, allowing the authentication and identification of any operation made on public records through internet, intranets and any connected device or secondary networks (for instance personal smartphones used to access the organisation's network remotely).

In fact there is strong evidence from a number of studies that a consistent proportion of malfeasance in public records originates as deliberate corporate crime (especially in connection with financial crimes) and as bullying, vindictive and uneducated behaviours of disgruntled employees and competitors abusing of personal data of colleagues or customers.

Boardrooms diversity and the gamification of governance

We need to make people with different mindsets, diverse backgrounds and disciplinary approaches to converge towards the same goals, start using and enforcing the existing laws and regulations and finding suitable ways to deal with new problems.

How to get there seems the true challenge at board level. Usually, nobody wants to take ownership of radical change of strategies or unpopular decisions in relation to vague businesses and immaterial stuff. Cybercrime, cyber security, information and data security are still very often perceived as boiler issues. Call the engineer and do not bother the directors!

The so invoked diversity in the boardrooms as a guarantee of good governance, often considered as the missed magic element, seems to me just another excuse: diversity is an easy notion to communicate over a range of channels and after all it means, to whom who like it, an invitation to keep on liking it - and to whom who don't, to keep on avoiding it. Both polarised views find supporting evidence in performance indicators, both are happy with the media coverage and nothing really changes.

To close a month of remembrances of real differences between rights and wrongs, yesterday I attended the presentation of a new study that says we should endorse and promote good culture to manage change in financial services. Having soberly listened to the results of such study, the panel and the public started then exchanging entertaining questions and answers on how easy or difficult is to avoid the regulations, invent new tricks and promote good culture. Change the organisational structures, said one. Change the criminal sanctions, said another. Change recruitment practices, and so on. We are all proud of having our smartest and youngest brains working in the City - seemed the agreed collective conclusion - and many of them are also so generously involved with the philanthropy sector and with charities after all. Sad we cannot recruit more good guys from Serbia, popped in a recruitment consultant. And you don't want to collaborate with european mutuals, added another.

I just suggested we should change the governance game, as this perpetuation of a Cop and robbers play in financial services, managing and mismanaging people money is just another way to incentivise more tricks and clever scams in spite of very important internationally recognised principles of good practice and fundamental rights - such the ones that safeguard personal pensions from being taken as assets in bankruptcies, especially when there are ascertained elements to consider such bankruptcies made against self represent litigants very bizarre from a procedural point of view and substantially wrong in the law. That was exactly my case.

Putting the record straight

So, I started with and succeeded in making the Insolvency Service to at least change and re-gazette the bankruptcy order, together with the notice of its discharge. In fact, it seemed in 2013 I was declared bankrupt in the High Court instead of a County Court. That was because of a mistake made in the template of a document used by the Official Receiver.

Similarly, it seems my appointed trustees in bankruptcy considered my stakeholder pension as an asset because... of a missed form in the communications between myself and the financial provider. Anyway, after the correction of this first mistake made by the Insolvency Service, I felt the process towards the annulment of the Bankruptcy Order has taken off and the Appointed Trustees in Bankruptcy, being a big company of insolvency practitioners, financial advisors and lawyers (Smith and Williamson) could honestly help putting the record straight.

As a matter of professional understanding of document management issues, I can say the mistaken name of the Court (High Court instead of County Court) in the bankruptcy order was facilitated by the fact that the actual bankruptcy number is by procedural rule identical to the bankruptcy petition number: it is a subtle detail, but for the fact that conceptual differences between diverse data entities cannot be easily spotted by court officers and lawyers. Petition, bankruptcy, name of the court are all different data objects that get easily confused as they were the same thing when they have all identical reference numbers that result valid across different registries and procedures.

Changing such little detail required me innumerable emails and interactions with several people working for the Insolvency Service, but in the end we made it, with the added bonus of some potential flaws discovered in the process of sharing data among different networks and countries (the Insolvency Service office in Belfast seemed unable to receive email communications from the Insolvency Service office in London at some stage, revealing a bottleneck of human frictions and misconfigured services).

The next step would be to obtain the rectification order for a unilateral mistake made by officers drafting the same bankruptcy order, where such order says that at the time of the bankruptcy order I was living at an address for correspondence, a PO BOX that it is easily identifiable as such using phone or internet directories. Obtaining such rectification seems to me very important in order to amend false information in the Land Registry, linking my bankruptcy order with an address and a ‘Maria Longo’ in North London. Such data were apparently considered genuine by the Insolvency Practitioners appointed as my trustees, causing my total disbelief and despair. Not just that. Such false Land Registry entries could be even exploited for other crimes, also affecting other people and not just myself: everybody could potentially pretend my bankruptcy is theirs and support with that other fraudulent transactions such as devaluation of land and so on and so forth!

So, I filed my bound of evidences and a thirteen pages witness statement explaining why the rectification is needed under Data Protection Act and Land Registration Act etc etc, which court has the jurisdiction to make the required order under Senior Courts Act. Finger crossed, I should have the (wrong) bankruptcy order rectified, re-gazetted (again) and above all enforceable with the Land Registry, other public registries and within any other legal proceedings (including my own for the annulment of the same Bankruptcy) in England or elsewhere, and in time to consider it as a Christmas present.

Let's hope in 2015 I can concentrate on and talk about more flourishing - and good - change management businesses, with a chance that the addicted governance gamblers and cyber stalkers are definitely out of my records.

28 November 2014: Post Scriptum

I have just received today an order dated 24th November made by a District Judge Clarke in the County court at Central London in Bankruptcy that f refused to transfer the file of the case to a Registrar. The judgement says my application is not against unknown person(s) but against the Official Receiver. That is so untrue that I suspect the Judge did not read at all my thirteen pages of witness statement. The rest follows consequently. The Judge ordered the "application be summarily dismissed as wholly without merit" because: 1) the court is not actively processing any data relating to me 2) the address for correspondence I complained about was confirmed by me being correct (and surely it was, but as an address for correspondence!) and 3) "if you wish the petition address to be amended you must discuss this with the Official Receiver or your Trustees in bankrutpcy (if any) who, if satisfied, may apply for such amendment".

In sum, I have been ordered to mind my own business and not to care if any falsehood is being fabricated in the Land Registry abusing of my own name and my former (now dismissed) address for correspondence.

Is that fair, is that right? It is not: I think it is a very diminishing way to deal with my dignity, my rights and my interests. Any minute I remain misrepresented in the public perception is a minute stolen to my social life. And it is also very wrong, of course, in respect of the public interest: the reason why so many inaccurate fraudulent records are being held in public registries and cyber criminals flourish is because few people care of the accuracy of personal data and other details very relevant in representing people transactions, relationships, assets and so on.

Having said that, as I have been ordered, I will ask the Official Receiver to apply to have a rectification order. I will prepare my application for the annullment and spend my little spare time in claiming back my stakeholder pension and have my data rectified.

These data are the very essence of our identities and digital lives.