Information Privacy Laws and Document Destruction

Document destruction isn’t just the popular thing to do—it’s the legal thing to do. No matter what type of business you lead, the law requires you to safeguard and dispose of employee and client information correctly. In the 1988 case of California vs. Greenwood, the US Supreme Court decided that anything discarded becomes public property. This decriminalized “dumpster diving” under federal law and makes it vital to ensure all confidential information is destroyed beyond recognition.

Since 1934, as the world of information privacy continues to evolve, the US government has continued to implement and update laws about the proper handling of documents.

The Evolution of Laws That Affect Your Business

1934: The Social Security Act prohibits companies from revealing a client’s Social Security Number.

1974: The Privacy Act says that every client has a right to privacy and companies are responsible for the mishandling of personal information, whether purposely or accidentally.

1974: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education and parent records and holds educational institutions responsible.

1984: The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) has been updated six times since first enacted and explains how the disposal of digital documents must be legally handled.

1996: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates Personal Health Information and how institutions must protect it from fraud and theft.

2002: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) sets the minimum retention time prior to shredding of documents.

2003: The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) states that any company that improperly disposes of sensitive documents will be held responsible, and that documents must be destroyed to a point that they are permanently unreadable.

2018: Personally Identifiable Information (PII) legislation was implemented in Colorado, requiring businesses to have reasonable security procedures in place for data disposal and safeguards to protect and dispose of even the smallest bit of personal information.

Has Your Business Evolved to Stay Compliant?

Just as much as your business has a responsibility to produce the best service or product possible for your customers, it also has the legal responsibility to protect the personal information of its customers and employees. To avoid unnecessary legal dilemmas, utilize the professional expertise of a company with paper shredding and hard drive destruction.

Apex Shredding serves Northern Colorado with information destruction solutions. To stay current and compliant with data destruction, please contact us at 970-532-5007 or complete the form on this page.

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