Security document destruction is more than a good idea, it’s the law.
In the information age, secure document disposal is required for protecting your company’s assets and your customers’ information. The law places firm liability of destruction of these documents on you, the business. A few of the decisions and statues outlining this responsibility can be seen below.
California vs Greenwood
The 1988 Supreme Court case California v. Greenwood concerned a defendant whose conviction was based upon incriminating evidence found in the trash which he left on his curb for his regular trash collector. Greenwood claimed that this evidence constituted unlawful search, but the United States Supreme Court maintained that a person had no legal expectation of privacy for the trash that they leave accessible to the public.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law which mandates the destruction of confidential medical documents including medical records, patient logs, insurance information and billing information. It includes the threat of civil and criminal penalties for companies which fail to comply.
Economic Espionage Act of 1996
The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 is a law which makes the theft of classified trade secrets a federal crime. In order for the law to be applicable, the business must have taken reasonable precautions to protect the sensitive information, such as not making the information publicly accessible by putting it in the trash.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act puts safeguards on the handling of all consumers’ personal information by financial institutions. It sets standards for technical and physical protection of all potentially sensitive information, including discarded information.
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA)
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, in addition to requiring the three major nationwide credit report companies to provide any consumer with a free credit report every year, strengthened and specified requirements for the disposal of all customer information. It requires that all businesses dispose of consumer information, whether physical or electronic, in such a way that it cannot be read or reconstructed. One way that a business may carry out this requirement is by hiring a document destruction contractor after performing due diligence on said contractor.
California Civil Code 1978-80 – 1798.84
California Civil Code 1789-80 – 1798.84 is the section of the California Civil Code which governs the privacy and security of personal consumer information. It states:
“A business shall take all reasonable steps to dispose, or arrange for the disposal, of customer records within its custody or control containing personal information when the records are no longer to be retained by the business by (a) shredding, (b) erasing, or (c) otherwise modifying the personal information in those records to make it unreadable or undecipherable through any means.”
The Cost of Filing
It costs over $1.00 to file each and every piece of paper in your filing cabinet!
According to Benchmark Consulting International, workers spend 500 hours a year searching for files and information. Additionally, a misplaced document costs $120 in expenses and lost productivity, while a filing cabinet costs $25,000 to fill and $2,000 annually to maintain.
Let Gone For Good save you time and money in a secure and risk-invasive process.