When in doubt, shred it!
While the law requires many industries to destroy confidential files, it is always good practice to protect yourself against identity fraud and theft to destroy all documentation properly. Several laws are in place that stipulate how sensitive information is stored, secured, and eventually destroyed.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) is an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that was added, primarily, to protect consumers from identity theft. The Act stipulates requirements for information privacy, accuracy and disposal and limits the ways consumer information can be shared. Private information that is defined under FACTA include:
• Social security numbers
• Driver’s license numbers
• photo numbers
• email addresses
• physical addresses
To comply with the FACTA Disposal Rule, businesses must take “reasonable measures” to ensure this information is not compromised. Reasonable measures include “burning, pulverizing or shredding” of paper documents.