back to article Ex-director cops community service after 5,000-file deletion spree on company Dropbox

A woman who deleted 5,000 files from her former company's Dropbox has been punished with community service – even though the business allegedly collapsed after her file-shredding spree. Danielle Bulley, 58, of Tockwith in North Yorkshire, England, scrubbed her former business associate's Dropbox account after a company she was …

  1. Hubert Cumberdale

    So... the headline should be

    "Company learns hard lesson about eggs and baskets, woman slapped on wrist for exploiting their stupidity"

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: So... the headline should be

      Company learned nothing. It went bust.

    2. big_D Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: So... the headline should be

      Backups anyone?

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Meh

    Backups? We've heard of them...

    They were stashing corporate data in the Cloud with no backups, I assume that the Judge may have had something private to say about that - it would explain the decision.

    There are two types of users in the world; Those who have lost their data, and those who are going to lose their data.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

      yes! only users lose data! So do some Admins, but they'll never admit to it!

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

        A good admin knows how to restore from backups before anyone realises they fucked up...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

          Its Friday and 15 mins to pub opening, one of the bean counters is whining about the 3 hours of work that disappeared "Accounting backpu's?" I ask the PFY "Er, round by the lift shaft" he nervously suggests....

      2. TeeCee Gold badge
        Meh

        Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

        That's because real Admins can always get it back and thus cover their tracks.

        Having good backups is one of the differences between an actual admin and a luser promoted to where their incompetence can do real damage.

    2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

      Yeah, that's the only reason I can think of for such a sentence (based on the available information). As I'm sick and tired of explaining to employers — if you don't change the locks on your house when you move in, you can't reasonably expect all of your stuff not to disappear irrecovably; and saying "but it's illegal to steal" does not absolve you of some responsibility for the result if you choose not to do so anyway.

    3. DemeterLast

      Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

      Are you a moron or something? Everybody knows that once your data is in The Cloud it is bathed daily with warm glacial spring water and groomed by a handsome centaur with a unicorn tail brush.

      The Cloud is perfect. The Cloud is reliable. The Cloud is redundant. The Cloud cured my aunt's gout.

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

        The Cloud is life.

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

          The cloud is a lie

      2. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

        Arguably Dropbox is a backup.

        On an IT forum one would expect a lot of "wouldn't happen to me"responses, I think its a bit harsh to point the finger at the victim.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

          Dropbox is only a backup if you have the original data somewhere and push it at regular intervals to Dropbox, even then, it is questionable, whether that constitutes a real backup. If you are using Dropbox as your primary storage, it isn't a backup.

          The 3-2-1 rule applies.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

        The Cloud cured my aunt's goat.

  3. Nunyabiznes Silver badge
    Trollface

    Sentencing

    So, should the male defendants get consideration for lesser sentences or should more of the women get prison? All in the interest of equality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sentencing

      See also convictions for sexual offences...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sentencing

        As someone 100 years ago stated somewhere along these lines "the justice system is designed to serve the needs of women, in effect a gynocentric femtocracy"

        Or something like that - as observed in cases like the above, where both men and women are to blame "We were under his spell" (seriously? you were hexed?) child custody - batter the kids daily and be a crap parent and you'll still ger the kids over your male spouse with a good paying job, impeccable manners and preferred by the children as "children are ALWAYS better off with their mothers"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sentencing

          "Gynocentric femtocracy". Great phrase. It's easy to overstate all this and get a bit misogynistic, but I am troubled when there are campaigns to jail fewer women because it's "bad for their mental health". I would argue that prison is bad for anyone's mental health, and we should therefore be jailing fewer people. I would also argue that to suggest women are just more fragile than men and should therefore be more protected from prison is the absolute opposite of empowering feminism.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sentencing

            The latest rad fem (or feminist generally) tactic - any time someone opposes you, yell "MISOGYNIST" or "WOMIN/WOMYN HATER" etc

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Sentencing

      As of a year or three ago, "Woman's Hour" was complaining that more women than men are sent to jail for the same convictions, one logical reason offered being that they can't pay fines so they get jail time instead. Separately, or at the same time, we hear that a prison sentence less than a year (e.g. for not paying a fine) does nothing to prevent re offending, is very expensive for the tax payer, and is less effective than a community penalty. It isn't long enough for a prisoner to connect with education and other services in there, although perhaps it should be. I'm not sure if it's considered that if someone is locked up for a year (or in practice six months maybe) then they're mostly stopped from harming the public during that time and have a reasonable chance to be further penalised if they do harm to other people locked up with them. Nevertheless, unless violence is likely to occur, making people perform a community penalty is more effective than a short sentence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sentencing

        Womens Hour has had a single male presenter in its 64 year history despite having a reasonable male listenership. I stopped taking anything they might say seriously some years ago.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Holmes

    more to this story?

    Defendant, a director, had access to documents in a in her old partners new company?

  5. Mr Dogshit

    Crikey!

    An "internet address". Sounds terribly technical.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Crikey!

      Probably a legal term/definition for use on a charge sheet.

  6. Pete 2

    back .... up!

    > an 18-month community order along with 80 hours' unpaid work.

    Hopefully the unpaid work won't be as a systems administrator for one of her ex-employers

    (Although 80 hours unpaid work doesn't sound like a punishment. It sounds like the week before a deadline)

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: back .... up!

      Nah, she has to work unpaid for 80 hours helping to fix Dropbox's shit code.

  7. Phil Bennett

    Scummy company practices cause data loss

    So a company folds and a new company forms, but the new company is still using the resources of the old company? That's a bit dodgy in itself, no?

    Surely when company A shuts down, all assets and liabilities (e.g. files, dropbox contract) are closed down or bought by another entity - which could be company B, but that transfer would've required the approval of company A (including the defendent in this case) or the receivers (in which case passwords etc should've been changed immediately).

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Scummy company practices cause data loss

      She resigned as director from Company A, so had nothing to do with Company A anymore. Company B likely took over Company A's assets in the manner you described, but they didn't, as you point out, remove the woman's access. That in itself is stupid.

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: Scummy company practices cause data loss

        She resigned as director from Company A, so had nothing to do with Company A anymore.

        Where did you get that from?

        The story says rather clearly that company A collapsed, and that following the collapse one of the owners of company A promptly started company B and grabbed all the assets of company A.

        Nowhere does it say that she resigned from Company A, only that the partners fell out with each other, which had some bearing on the collapse.

        He should have waited until the winding up of A was complete before touching any of its assets and was, in any case, unlikely to be entitled to all the assets. This looks remarkably like sharp dealing at best and quite possibly, theft if the assets had any residual value after creditors, including HMCE, were paid..

        1. Jonathan Richards 1

          Re: Scummy company practices cause data loss

          > Where did you get that from?

          THE PROPERTY PRESS (HOLDINGS) LIMITED Company number 10058355. Mrs Bulley ceased to be a 'person with significant control' on 13 Mar 2018, and the company was wound up by extraordinary resolution (i.e. voluntarily) on 9 Aug 2018.

          Letterbox Productions was incorporated on 30 Apr 2018, i.e. a little more than 3 months before Property Press was wound up.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Scummy company practices cause data loss

            Sounds about right for a phoenix.

            A very common way of stiffing investors and suppliers.

  8. Robert Grant Silver badge

    of which a dozen were female. One of those women received a prison sentence compared to 12 of the male criminals.

    Who cares about this? What about their relatives heights; that's the characteristic I'm most interested in.

    1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      I think their Luck stats would be most relevant here

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "57 people were charged with Computer Misuse Act crimes, of which a dozen were female."

    So we need to recruit 15 1/2 more females to commit Computer Misuse offenses, in the interests of equality. The article doesn't state what proportion were of a "non-reflective" disposition but I suspect we need to recruit yet more Misusers in order to arrive at a properly equalised distribution of opportunity in the field of Computer Misuse, one that covers people of all persuasions, ethnicities, toenail length, pet ownership etc.

    Or similar bollocks

  10. heyrick Silver badge
    WTF?

    Bulley got off lightly

    What gets me about this is the sheer utter stupidity of keeping all of these important company documents in a Dropbox.

    I can understand putting some things there for access on the road, or whatever, but to lose thousands of files and a hundred grand for the want of a fifty dollar harddisc, or maybe a couple of SD cards...?

    You simply do not put your entire business at the whims of a third party. If this data was that important, copies should be made, and kept. And I don't mean "stuff it into the cloud".

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Bulley got off lightly

      At a guess, they thought Dropbox was the backup.

      And didn't realise that syncing works both ways.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bulley got off lightly

      There seems to be quite a few small startups that think running their entire business through the likes of Google Documents and Dropbox is the cheap and agile way to go. It all rather reminds me of the many small business that used now defunct ISPs home user accounts for their entire business email and web presence. I saw a plumbers van sometime in the last year with an AOL email address on it.

      Wow! Apparently you can still get AOL accounts!!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Five hours?

    "Bulley had spent five hours "permanently deleting..."

    Reminds me of the manager who complained of how long it took to empty a folder of several hundred files at the end of each day.

    I could have told them about select all, delete but its nice to see them do some work.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They never listen

    I wonder If the local gov I work for that "went Google" will read this. Over the years I've warned them of security issues, especially around using Google and how easy it is to steal work documents using it. All fallen on deaf ears. Also the insistence of the IT director to convince everyone to start saving to Google Drive so they can get rid of the in house local drives. Ignoring the fact they've never paid for the business package of GSuite cause it turns out its "too expensive". So none of that Google drive data is backed up.

    I wonder what will happen. I've got the popcorn ready waiting for the day I can say "I told you so".

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: They never listen

      Like most things where people do stupid things, nothing until said person leaves.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They never listen

      @AC - hopefully you have "CYA" with documentation, as the next step will be try to blame you!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They never listen

        Yes and evidence of the director that only stayed for a few months, suddenly left, then started or continued his business in the very area he was managing for several months. Its fucking obvious he exploited this Google Drive push to steal loads of documents to help with his new business.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its Friday and 15 mins to pub opening, one of the bean counters is whining about the 3 hours of work that disappeared "Accounting backup's?" I ask the PFY "Er, round by the lift shaft" he nervously suggests....

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