Small Firms Must Shred as of June 1st 2005

Small Firms Must Shred as of June 1st 2005

8/5/2005 – Get the shredder ready – Small firms must now protect sensitive information
If you don’t already have a shredder, get one. As of June 1, you’re now required to shred many documents you’ve routinely tossed in the trash – or you may be violating federal law. Really!
A new federal regulation – the Federal Trade Commission’s “disposal rule” – almost certainly applies to your business. The disposal rule, part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act or FACTA, requires anyone with access to “consumer information” used for a “business purpose” to properly dispose of such information by “taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access or use of that information.”

Jen Schwartzman, spokeswoman for the FTC, said the rule applies to “consumer reporting agencies, lenders, insurers, employers, landlords, any governmental agency, mortgage broker, car dealers, attorneys, private investigators, debt collectors, and then any individual who may obtain information on somebody who’s doing work for them in their home such as a nanny or contractor.”

What do you do with the pile of rejected resumes after you’ve selected a new employee? With the stack of unwanted tenant applications after you’ve rented out an apartment? In the past, you may have just tossed all that paper in the trash. If so, it’s relatively easy for a cleaning person or “dumpster diver” to get hold of it, potentially leading to identity theft.


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