My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Investigative Series: Spotlight on Harris Corp. (Part 4)

On April 18, 2009, an under-reported yet monumental transaction took place between the Harris Corporation (the company responsible for creating the failing handheld computers used for 2010 Census operations) and Tyco Electronics (formerly part of the company with the same first name responsible for one of 2002′s most notorious financial scandals).

According to Data Week, “Tyco Electronics has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its wireless systems business to Harris Corporation for $675 million in cash, subject to final working capital adjustments. Tyco’s wireless systems business generated sales of $461 million in fiscal 2008. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close toward the end of 2009.”

MyTwoCensus is concerned because it is unclear at this point is whether 2010 Census data can be accessed by these companies. It is unknown whether meta-crawlers (excuse the Google jargon) have been installed in the handheld devices created by Harris that could potentially share private and proprietary data with these corporations.

Here’s the official description of Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems:

“Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems is a leading supplier of critical communications systems and equipment for public safety, utility, federal, transportation and select commercial markets. Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems products range from some of the most advanced IP-based voice and data networks to traditional wireless systems that offer customers the highest levels of reliability, interoperability, scalability and security. More information about Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems solutions can be found on the Web at www.tewireless.com.”

With IP technology in the hands of Tyco, is your personal data safe?

Given that Tyco Electronics is based in Bermuda, a tax haven known for its lack of regulation, this acquisition could surely spell significant amounts of more trouble for investors, the SEC, and the Commerce Department if Tyco’s assets turn out to be less than stellar.

On a sidenote, it is clear that from a financial perspective, Harris is not performing well for its shareholders. However, it’s interesting to note how long the Harris Corporation’s stock rose until its peak of more than $65 a share on March 30, 2008, long after other companies had already started losing significant amounts of money. But today, the company’s value has been cut in half.

MyTwoCensus urges financial and security experts to share their opinions with us.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Investigative Series: Spotlight on Harris Corp. (Part 4)”

  1. Informed Observer Says:

    This article has got to be one of the most ignorant and off base articles that I have ever read. It is full of extremely poor and uninformed assumptions. Let’s review just a couple:

    1) “It is unclear at this point whether 2010 Census data can be accessed by these companies…” Harris is designing the Census reader completely to the Federal Government specifications. There is no hidden capabilities in the device – the full design and capability, by definition, is available for the Gov’t to review. Why would the Gov’t permit Harris access to the data and why would Harris want access?

    2) “With IP technology in the hands of Tyco, is your personal data safe after this merger”? First off, it was not a merger. Harris bought the part of Tyco that makes Land Mobile Radios for Public Safety. Do you think that all of the Police, Fire, and rescue personnel that use Tyco’s LMR radios would use them if they thought that Tyco was somehow going to misuse their technology? Secondly, Harris now owns this piece of Tyco, so it is no longer part of Tyco. So how is it relevant that Tyco is based in Bermuda? They will have nothing to do with the census.

    I think that an elementary school student writing an article for their 4th grade newsletter could do a better job checking facts and assumptions than the author of this article.

  2. OOSier Said than Done Says:

    Forget it. This Morse joker is simply interested in making a name for himself, he has absolutely no concern for accuracy or reliable information. I already tried to point out that his source on another posting had no idea what they were spewing, and for my posting trouble I got snapped at. Yeah, maybe the Census has big problems, but you’re not going to find out the truth here. He’s having too much fun flinging mud around without care where it lands.