The Integrity News
Vol. XIV No. 5
June 7, 2005
June 4, 2005
"The disposal rule is part of the 2003 Fair and Accurate
Transaction Act (
The FACT Act ) which amended the FCRA,
and which contains dozens of provisions designed to slow the
growth of identity theft, a crime that affects about 10 million
Americans each year."
"The disposal rule, developed by the Federal Trade Commission
( FTC ), covers all employers, large and small -- even those with
one employee." It is more important than ever that you work
with reliable, law-abiding information providers.
"On Wednesday, June 1, 2005, a new Federal law kicked in
requiring those who handle other people's personal information
to dispose of the data properly. Recycling the paperwork isn't
good enough -- it must be destroyed, the rule says, rendered
useless to anyone who might stumble upon it."
"Even if you ordered a background check on your kid's coach,
or nanny, or -- as is the latest trend in online dating -- on a
prospective blind date, the law applies to you." And, they know
that you have that data, because if you got it legally, you had
to first have them sign an FCRA Authorization.
"Carelessly discarded consumer reports have swelled in recent
years, as the use of such data has become much more widespread.
Background checks involving credit reporting data and other
information have become increasingly common -- even by home
consumers -- as vendors make accessing data easier and cheaper."
"Transgressions -- such as tossing paperwork containing
personal information into a recycling bin, or leaving it on a
discarded computer's hard drive -- might be costly. The FTC
can sue and obtain fines of up to $2,500.00 for each instance
of neglect. State attorneys general can also enforce the law
( as they can the FCRA ). Victim Consumers can, too. People
who spot their old medical forms in a dumpster outside a
doctor's office can obtain damages of up to $1,000.00, the rule
says, if a judge agrees the dumpee was willfully negligent."
"While the disposal rule only covers consumer credit reports
and information derived from credit reports, experts say it's
best to destroy anything that includes personal information
because the definition is not crystal clear."
"But the shredder rule won't necessarily do much to reduce
ID theft. Catching sloppy nanny employers won't even dent
the problem, because most identity theft is caused by inside
employees who steal data -- not street thugs digging through
"How can consumers make sure they are in compliance with
the FTC rule ? Paperwork must be ripped so well that the
data on it is indistinguishable, according to the new FTC rule."
"Burning is also an option, 'if you sit there and watch it burn'."
"Shredders are the automated solution. Traditional "strip"
shredders create about 15 pieces that can be reassembled --
an annoying but achievable task for identity thieves. Cross
shredders chop documents into about 300 pieces."
"Digital documents post their own disposal challenges. The
FTC says simply deleting contents from an emailed record
isn't enough. The data must be destroyed and irretrievable.
When an old computer is thrown away, physical destruction
of the hard drive recommended."
To discuss topics related to document security and the proper
destruction of records, feel free to call
The Integrity Center, Inc.
at (972) 484-6140.
Helping you with your Risk
Management and HR Automation is what we do.