The FTC has announced a six month stay on the Red Flag Rule. The rule will take effect on May, 1 2009 instead of the original November 1, 2008.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Red Flag Rule, it is an addition to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) the requires financial institutions to put systems in place that detect identity theft. For example, unusual account activity.
Read the press release.
Many companies try to get away with not shredding by using a recycling company. Although, both recycling companies and shredding services recycle the paper it is what happens before it is pulped that makes all the difference. A shredder uses locked bins to store and transport any files. This maintains a chain of custody from the locked storage room or file cabinet until it is rendered un-readable. A shredder also keeps video surveillance on their operations and maintains strict hiring practices. A recycle does neither since it is only scrap they are dealing with.
Binghamton University now knows the difference between the two. They put student records into a recycle bin only to have then discovered by the student radio station. [source]
The Albany Police Department has shredders in their office and a recycling service to take away the shreds. However, like so many other offices private records were discovered in the dumpster. [source]
It is easy to write a policy that says officers should spend their time at a shredder. But they are measured on doing police work, not clerical work. Most officers would try to get them away from the lowly office work. As a result the shredding is left undone.
Unless they want a re-occurrence then they need to make the job easy. They can either hire a person to do the work or use a paper shredding service. The later is easily the more economical choice.
This is a new story about an old problem. A man was driving down the street and saw a file cabinet next to a dumpster. He stopped to take it home when he realized the dumpster was full of boxes of personal information. The information included names, number, addresses, SSNs and copies of drivers license. The boxes were traced back to a title company called Abstractors Title Company. [source]
When you choose a company to work with it is a good idea to make sure they have shredding bins from the local shredding service around their office.
A man took a check to U.S. Cellular in Des Moines to pay his bill. The check ended up in the trash, un-shredded, where it was discovered by Christopher Hunter Johnson. Johnson then altered the check and deposited it into his own account. The crime earned Johnson five years of probation. [source]
I don’t want to forgive Johnson but why isn’t U.S Cellular taking better care of its customers? They should be shredding all the paper work that comes through their offices.
A recent survey of UK companies produced some very scary results. The survey conducted by Dynamics Markets in August found companies were very cavalier in their handling of private information of their employees and customers. Fifty six percent of respondents said that personal information can be found in company trash and ten percent admitted the tossing sensitive documents into the trash before shredding them.
It is time for every company to shred and recycle their office documents before no personal privacy is left.
If you have ever rented from the Hollywood Video in Liberty Missouri, you should keep a close eye on your credit. The store recently closed and all the personal information the store collected was simply tossed into the dumpster for the world to find. The problem was discovered by someone looking for boxes and reported to authorities but it is unclear who had access to them before the report was made.
It might be time for Hollywood Video to use a paper shredding service whenever they need to close a store. See the video.