Thursday, December 16, 2004

Diana and the baker

Properly done risk management enhances trust. Balancing strategy and technology with authentic human behaviour is the beginning. Here’s a quite perfect illustration of the power of Scimitar’s perspective model at work:

Back in 1999 (Bruce Schneier relates in his latest newsletter on the above link) Diana Dean, a US customs agent on the Canadian border did her work with the kind of authenticity so lacking in my Sainsbury’s baker. Thanks to her, a car-load of explosives was intercepted and LA airport was spared a devastating holiday-season bomb disaster. If she’d used the available computerized profiling technology like the baker used his in-store oven things could have turned out differently. Sainsbury’s could do with a whole load of Diana Dean's authentic behaviour. The quality of the bread probably wouldn’t improve but customers’ tempers – and their inclination to buy stuff – certainly would.