Sensitive/Confidential Document Handling and Destruction. There have been several laws passed over the past several years pertaining to the proper handling and destruction of sensitive or deemed confidential material. These laws were passed to not just protect you, the consumer, but also the businesses that need to handle and process this information for you, be it medical, financial, or personal in nature. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in "California vs. Greenwood" that dumpster diving is not illegal. Until the latest advances in computer technology, this was the predominate method of obtaining sensitive information on individuals.
A new Federal Law that was designed to reduce the risk of consumer fraud and identity theft created by the improper disposal of consumer information. It basically states that any person and/or business must properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal.
A Federal Law to protect abuses of personal health information including unauthorized access. This law would apply technically to every employer in the US who retains, collects or has completed health insurance applications or injury reports on file. Regardless to size, they must have documented policies defining the measures they have implemented to prevent unauthorized access.
This act places significant restrictions on the way those in the financial industry can use consumer information. It further requires them to provide to its consumers printed privacy policies showing how they will handle this information.
This bill, which went in effect back in January 2001, basically states that any business should exercise all reasonable steps when arranging for the collection and destruction of all personal information that it deems no longer in active need or retention.
Businesses must maintain book and records so that an accounting of the business activities may be performed. Whether it be for an audited financial report, a compilation, a review, a tax return, or a specific management report, businesses must gather, summarize and analyze facts and figures to support reports, tax returns and conclusions. After the report is issued and/or the tax return is filed, the next important question is just how long must these business records be retained.