I ran across this story about a restaurant in Edmonton that left their employees private information in the trash before shredding it. The names, addresses, social insurance numbers and payroll information for dozens of staff was left in a dumpster. It happened when a new restaurant was moving into a space and found the records of the prior occupant in a storage shed. The construction company just dumped the boxes of records to make space.
For several years, FACTA made the practice of leaving personal information in the trash a crime in the US. It must be shredded if it is left in a public space. And since California v Greenwood made a dumpster a public space every company needs to take care to shred personal information. But what about in Canada? The reporter says no law requires it but I have seen the same thing said in US papers. Does anyone in Canada have the final word?
If you are wanting to avoid FACTA fines and want to save money then let us help you find a the right shredding services for your business.
The big players in shredding services and document storage continued their mergers and acquisitions bonanza. Brambles has announced that they are looking for buyers for their Recall operations. Brambles, based in Sydney, Australia, will continue their focus on the global pallet market. Recall is estimated to be worth around $2 billion.
Brambles has seemed alternately interested in growing and selling Recall and its records management businesses. Rumors were that they were on the market in the past but this is the first time they have declared their intentions publicly.
This announcement follows on the heals of Brinks selling their document destruction operations to Shred-it. There will be two less large companies in the market whenever this deal closes. The three biggest players left standing are Iron Mountain, Shred-It and Cintas. There are also several companies that are actively growing their service footprints from regional to national players. It will be interesting to see if the get acquired as will as the industry consolidates.
The investigation into the disposal practices continues at Walgreens. The investigation stems from a story on WTHR in Indianapolis. The station looked in the dumpsters of the top three pharmacies to see if they were properly disposing of their customers personal information. They must do so as part of the HIPAA shredding regulations. They found that all three were dumping pill bottles and paper that was un-shredded. What was even more troubling was the pharmacies were notified of the problems but failed to fix them. The reporter returned and found the exact same HIPAA violations continued.
After the investigation by HHS, CVS settled for $2.25 million and Rite Aid settled for $1 million. The investigation into Walgreens continues according to HHS.
It is clear that the HHS is taking HIPAA violations very seriously. Shredding services can eliminate one security whole. Every month the shredding is done and a document of destruction generated. It is cheap insurance and still cheaper than paying employees to do the shredding.
There are a couple of geniuses living in Monroe Michigan. They hatched a plan to counterfeit money. The first thing they did was steal some computers and printers. Then they had to test it all out. But it turns out they had some that didn’t turn out so they threw them away — in the same bag as their utility bills. When the bills were discovered in the trash the police were notified and it didn’t take the CSI team to figure out who were the culprits. The police did find crack in the fridge which may have fueled their bad idea.
I always recommend shredding your information so it won’t fall into the wrong hands. But I never contemplated shredding for people with the wrong hands. I guess they figured they didn’t need to worry because they are the identity thieves in the area.
It is another reminder of how many people dig through dumpsters on a regular basis. It is a practice protected by the supreme court and apparently there is enough interesting or valuable that keep people doing it.
Shred-it * announced the acquisition of Brink’s Document Destruction. This was the shredding division of Brink’s Inc. Shred-it said the acquisition would help with their customer density in Boston, Chicago, Dallas and New York. Financial details were not released.
This marks the unceremonious end to Brinks attempt to enter the shredding service market. Their goal was to leverage their name in security for new businesses. The market was much harder to penetrate than they had anticipated. They opened a few locations but never earned significant market share.
I think this is a classic example of a branding problem. Brinks is know for their armored cars. They have great mind share in that market. To enter a new market they should have considered a new brand for the shredding service. This didn’t end as they hoped but it could have been even worse if they were successful and Brinks became associated with shredding and their armored car business dried up.
*Shred Nations has no affiliation with Shred-it or Brinks