Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 2 2014: Snapchat, Target, and Customer Data; Harvard Law Expellee Again Behaving Badly?; Russian Venture Capital

Public Outrage Over Data Security Breaches: Take Care of (Likely) Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

Snapchat’s Continuing PR Fails (Victories?)
To follow up with our readers on Snapchat’s data breach PR difficulties that we discussed last week, CEO Evan Spiegel battled with Forbes staff regarding comments he made to the magazine for its cover article about the Snapchat leader. The comments suggested that the 23 year old CEO had made Facebook’s Zuckerberg acquiesce to his whim by coming to Los Angeles just before Spiegel turned down Zuckerberg’s $3 billion buyout offer. At least Snapchat managed to come around to issuing an apology for the data breach that caught our attention last week.

Target’s Customer Data “Floodgates” Apparently Open 
Speaking of data breaches, Target announced that its original assessment of the data breach it discovered in mid-December was inaccurate, and the breach was actually much larger and more comprehensive. In addition to the payment card data the company hemorrhaged in late November and December, the breach included personal information (names, addresses, phone numbers, emails) of up to 70 million individuals. Because the data for certain customers apparently overlapped, the number of affected customers is somewhere between 70 and 110 million people.

Beaver Lake Dam - Open Floodgates

Law Students (and Traders?) Behaving Badly

SAC’s Martoma’s Trial Developments
Harvard Law expellee Matthew Martoma will go on trial for insider trading charges that could be among the largest in history, and seven women and five men will decide the facts that determine the outcome of the case. The prosecutors’ argument is that he apparently spoke with hedge fund SAC Capital’s boss Stephen Cohen about material non-public information regarding Alzheimer’s drug trials just before the firm shed 700 million in pharmaceutical shares. Apparently unrelated, SAC Capital this week made $200 million trading in pharmaceutical shares after Intercept Pharmaceutical was successful in drug trials for a liver drug.

International Startups and Venture Capital

Russia a Burgeoning Market?
For those of our readers interested in start-ups and venture capital, check out this interesting article by Nikolay Davidov about the potential of Russia’s VC market. Davidov surmises that Russia’s 66 million person internet user market will “grow by around 15 percent to 20 percent year on year, up until 2018.” And that “Russia is currently undergoing a revolution in investment similar to the changes the U.S. underwent half a century ago.”

Photodoug_wertman | Flickr

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Gideon Dionne

Gideon has fly fished for trout in rivers on three continents.

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