Archive for November, 2009

Article Discusses Problem of Abandoned Records

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

An article by Deborah Gage posted on the website of the San Francisco Chronicle on July 3rd discusses the issue of abandoned records and how proposed state legislation in California would provide some guidance and protection for organizations like property managers and records storage companies who find themselves left holding the records when the owner disappears.

The proposed law is the product of a workgroup formed by the state’s California Office of Privacy Protection. NAID participated in the workgroup, and one of the key issues NAID championed was that self storage operators no longer be allowed to auction off abandoned records to the highest bidder.  This is an inadvertent but common occurrence when self storage customers—who are often businesses—go under.

The legislation would make that practice illegal as well as requiring legacy custodians—those left with the abandoned record—to properly destroy them. If the proposed legislation passes, it is likely other states will follow California ’s lead.

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Legal Files Left in Dumpster

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

According to an article by Jessica Heffner posted to the website of the Middletown Journal  (Middletown, OH) on July 4th, piles of records containing personal information were casually discarded by a local law firm in a public garbage dumpster.  The article reports that the files contained Social Security numbers and other details that would make identity theft easy.

According to the Ohio Code of Professional Responsibility, attorneys are required to safeguard client property, including case records, during and after representation.

In the report the County Prosecutor comments that such practices are unacceptable but does not state whether or not further investigation or penalties will be pursued.

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