Data Has Time Dependency: Crimes Impact Linger

Data stolen from HSBC in 2006 and 2007 still carry an impact. In this case around 15,000 people could suffer tax consequences. (Naturally, the issue of whether they sheltered money and cheated on their taxes is a separate issue.) The impact is worldwide.

A former IT employee of Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA, identified by French authorities as Herve Falciani, obtained the information between late 2006 and early 2007, the bank said. The accounts, held by individuals worldwide, were all opened before October 2006..

Ultimately this means that the value of data is dependent on it’s relationship to the relevant state of affairs. Put differently, if a credit card account is inactive that data is worthless if someone attempts to use it. If the inactive data ties one back to fraud that occurred last year, it’s still relevant.

In the case of HSBC, the accounts reflect who was (potentially) cheating on their taxes in 2006. If the statute of limitations has not run out the information is still valuable.