Confessions of a Corporate Spy

#Workplace

Tue, Feb 19th, 2013 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Fascinating article on Inc. by George Chidi on Corporate Espionage. Don't think it's anything like Mission Impossible, but as Chidi puts it, "this kind of social engineering is like hacking people, seeking a weak point for entry."

When I strolled into a Talbots near closing time on a Wednesday night, I wasn't expecting Phipps Plaza in Atlanta's ritzy Buckhead neighborhood to be so dead. Perfect for me. Less so for the store manager. I entered keenly aware of how completely out of place I must have seemed--a heavyset thirtysomething black guy in Walmart dress slacks, trying to look casual while fondling Hil?lary Clinton-esque blouses. If I were on staff, I might have briefly considered the possibility that I had come in only to knock over the place while things were quiet.

And I would have been about right.

I'm a competitive-intelligence researcher. A spy, of sorts. I don't break the law. But I always feel like I'm right on the edge of it, never mind my rigid ethical standards. The information I secure is given freely and obtained legally, and I don't lie to get it, but in the back of my mind I'm always thinking, You probably don't want me to know this.

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