Legislation in the Shredding Industry

Posted by Ryan Richard

Shredders are inundated with shredding industry legislation to keep your information safe. Several laws exist to help keep your personal information safe from identity thieves. Shredding companies like Carolina Shred must abide by these laws, whether you are a business or an individual that uses the company to destroy personal records, whether paper or electronic.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA)

FACTA is a newer federal law that was put into place to help reduce identity theft. FACTA not only provides for education that protects consumers and businesses, but it also states that you have the right to one free credit report per year so that you may check to see if everything on your credit report is accurate and that the accounts being reported are you accounts. FACTA also requires the proper disposal of records. If you do not properly dispose of consumer records, you may face fines of up to $2,500 per record.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA)

HIPPA is the law that protects your confidential information that is maintained by healthcare institutions, providers and insurance companies. The rule also provides you, as a patient, with access to your medical records. The security portion of the rule is about the security of electronic health information. It tells the healthcare industry and others who deal with personal information how to implement physical, administrative and technical safeguards to protect your information. Because Carolina Shred may be handling your medical information, whether you bring it in for shredding or a medical center does, it is bound by HIPPA legislation.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

This act, also known as The Financial Modernization Act of 1999, dictates guidelines for financial institutions and how they handle your information. Since Carolina Shred often handles financial information, it must abide by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Act also applies to any other business, including a paper shredding service, that handle a customer's financial information.

The Privacy Act of 1974

This act protects your records that may be maintained by the federal government. This may include military records, internal revenue service records, your records if you are a contractor for government entities and other such information. The Act also prohibits disclosure of certain records unless the holder has your permission to disclose them. This privacy act has 12 statutory exemptions to the prohibition of disclosure of records.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The RCRA is the framework for solid waste management, whether hazardous or not. Subtitle D or the RCRA regulates the management of non-hazardous solid waste, including landfills – the last place you want a document with your social security number and other personal information to end up.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

This act is a federal law that protects a student's education records. It is published as 20 U.S.C. §1232g and 34 CFR Part 99. Any school that receives funds from certain programs from the U.S. Department of Education are required to follow this legislation. Should those schools use Carolina Shred to dispose of old records, our company must also abide by this legislation.

Supreme Court Ruling – California vs. Greenwood

In this 1988 case, the Supreme Court rules that any information you throw out in your trash is fair game to anyone. If you do not take measures to protect your information and put it out on the curb, it is not illegal for someone to go through your garbage and take that information. While it is illegal for them to use it, you now have to deal with the mess that a stolen identity creates. It's just better to properly dispose of all personal information, including anything with your address, social security number, bank information and prescription information on it. Contact Carolina Shred to find out where a secure shredding truck will be in your neighborhood so that you may dispose of your personal information safely.