Manufacturing companies often collect personal identifying information and store it in various formats, both digital and traditional paper. Identity theft is a continuing growing problem in the country.
Many states have passed laws that require entities to destroy, dispose, or otherwise make personal information unreadable or undecipherable, in order to protect an individual’s privacy. At least 29 states, including Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, provide laws that govern the disposal of personal data held by businesses and/or government.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a new rule that will require businesses to properly dispose of and destroy sensitive consumer data. The rule is one of several new requirements intended to combat consumer fraud and identity theft and protect privacy required by the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act).
The new FACT Act Disposal Rule broadly covers “any record about an individual, whether in paper, electronic, or other form that is a consumer report (also known as a credit report) or is derived from a consumer report.” It requires any person or company that possesses or maintains such information to take “reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal.
Trade Secrets are another form of sensitive information that needs to be protected and properly managed. In 1996 Congress enacted the Economic Espionage Act to protect the economic interests of the United States. The Department of Justice has been given the task of enforcing this act. They do so by denying legal protection if an organization does not take reasonable steps to protect their proprietary information. It is in a company’s best interest to make sure these sensitive materials pertaining to corporate secrets, intellectual property and discarded product are properly managed.