Baby’s Days and Contractors.

So last night, I blogged about a possible contractor used by Baby’s Days who lives in the Ukraine.

Kel Thomas has posted over in the Official Babys Days support group that it’s none of my business, “who they employ and it’s [also] none of our [meaning customers] business”.  A few other users go on to say that banks and electricity companies employ people all over the world.

 I thought I’d use this blog post to perhaps clarify some points.

  1. I don’t care if a contractor lives in a yacht off the coast of St Trpoez or in a mud hut in Yemen.  I do care that a company claims to only use in house developers when potentially they are not in house at all and are actually contracted.  This would be dishonest.
  2. Secondly and more importantly, I don’t care if Baby’s Days use contractors, as I said, it’s pretty standard.  But I do care if they put competitors down for using contractors when they are actually potentially doing the very same thing!  Is it a bad thing to use a contractor?  Not necessarily.  Is it bad to lie about your use of a contractor?  Of course it is!  This would be dishonest.

Do Baby’s Days Use Contractors?
Baby’s Days claim that they don’t “subcontract the development of their system to unknown individuals”. I have asked Baby’s Days how they explain the gentleman based in the Ukraine and also the countless other adverts placed on Freelance websites over the last 3 years including one for a logo redesign and another as recent as December 2014 for an IOS developer to develop an app.  They have declined to comment.

Is it any of your business who works for Baby’s Days?
Anyone who actually thinks it’s none of their business who a company potentially uses as a contractor obviously needs to think long and hard about making such claims.  As a childminder, I can’t let one person over my threshold without signing a visitors book (ok, it’s not a legal requirement, but you know what I mean), so why would it be ok to potentially share a load of information with a stranger a company may or may not have vetted?

As Baby’s Days deny their use of contractors they haven’t published parameters for how contractors will operate or what they can and can’t see/do, which is what most companies tend to do.  Their Terms and Conditions say, “Each party will ensure that any agents or subcontractors that are permitted to access any of the other’s Confidential Information are legally bound to comply with the obligations set forth herein.”

But what does that actually mean?  Can contractors access Confidential Information?  Would Photos fall under this?  Can contractors download photos?  Importantly what happens when the T&Cs change again, without customers knowing as happened in November?  What additional rights could possible contractors potentially be given?

These are the questions that pop into my head as an ex user and really they should be popping into everyone’s head that has used this service since it began.  Until Baby’s Days clarify this matter we really wont know all of the facts unfortunately and it’s quite frankly extremely arrogant to suggest customers have no right to know who may potentially have access to their data.

DISCLAIMER: Since Jan 1st 2015 the previously mentioned, “Official” support group endorsed by Baby’s Day was re-branded and no longer contains the word “official” and seemingly is no longer endorsed by Baby’s Days.  At the time of writing this blog post the details within were 100% accurate.

Baby’s Days and The Ukraine!?

So you might be wondering what Baby’s Days has got to do with the Ukraine?  Given that their team is “in house” and that they have a UK data centre you’ve probably assumed that everything is based here in the UK.

I was a user of Baby’s Days for 3.5 years and assumed that it was Mark that did all the coding (as he set it up initially for his wife) and then more recently Jeff joined the team part time as a kind of database administrator.  To my recollection I’ve never actually been told this, it’s more implied from the website wording and facebook posts etc.  Others might have interpreted things differently too, let me know in the comments section.  So to my mind, “in house” always meant either Mark or Jeff.
But recently I have realised that Baby’s Days has at least one employee based in The Ukraine. I did wonder if maybe the Gentleman was just from the Ukraine, but his Facebook accounts says he lives in the Ukraine.  Most companies use contractors so I don’t find this odd but the fact that Baby’s Days have failed to mention this employee does seem very misleading to me.

As I’ve said elsewhere on the blog, I’m not very technically minded so I am unsure how much, if any, of your data this gentleman has access to, if he can view or download photos etc.  When you login to your system you give permission  to be, “monitored and recorded by on-site system personnel.”  I am also unsure if this gentleman would have the ability to monitor and record you system use or if he is classed as “on site system personnel”.  These are questions I had hoped to ask Baby’s Days but they did not get back to me with a comment sadly.

I have asked Baby’s Days to comment on this information and they declined to do so.  As such this post is based on all information available at the time.  If new information comes to light, I will obviously update this post so that it remains as factual as the others on this blog.  There is of course the very small chance this man has a made up Linkedin and Facebook account and he doesn’t work for Baby’s Days at all.

Is any Server 100% Secure.

On its website Baby’s Days claim:
“your data is 100% secure”, Source.  

In this blog post which will be updated over the week I will look at this claim more closely.  Please note, this post does not mean Baby’s Days isn’t secure.  I assure all users of it’s services that may be reading this that in my opinion, based on the information they have provided on their website, they couldn’t make it any more secure.  

But this post will explore the claim that it is “100% secure”. 


So, is anything 100% secure?  The short answer to this is no, “nothing is 100% secure and anyone who guarantees 100% security is making a promise they cannot even keep.” Source

It is my understating that no stored data (both online and offline) could ever be considered to be 100% secure because there are too many variables that the owner of the data can not control.  For example someone could be dedicated to hacking into the system, there could be an exploitation in the code that the developer was not aware of, the data centre could fall into a hole that magically opened up in the ground.  All extremely unlikely variables, but variables none the less.

I have reported Baby’s Days to the Advertising Standards Authority Link today so that they can review this claim (and also the claim about how fantastic they are at updating systems) and if they agree that this is false advertising I believe that Baby’s Days will have to stop making this claim.  I will update you as to how this progresses over the next couple of weeks.

Does this mean Baby’s Days is unsafe?
No, not at all.  They are doing as much as they can to ensure your data is safe, just like many other similar companies.  Thousands of businesses run with set ups similar to what they appear to have, the point here is that they’re not doing anything special here at all, despite what their website might lead you to believe.  Then, on the other side of the coin, thousands use less security and that is adequate too.

I will be posting more about Baby’s Days website security claims tomorrow, including the one that says,

“[the] system is backed up EVERY day at two separate geographical locations in the UK, including all the data and photographs that have been uploaded to their system.Source 

I will be looking at where these two separate geographical locations are, we know one is the data centre, but I have not read anything about the security of the second location on the Baby’s Days website.  I have contacted Baby’s Day for their comment on the 100% claim but they have declined to comment and referred me to their solicitors.

It would be interesting to see if any blog readers know about these two locations?  Please comment below or message me and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog by putting your email in at the top of this page to be alerted when a new post is added.