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Privacy 101

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Two interesting stories on privacy issues this morning.

First, Acorn is having even more problems because a republican activist did a little dumpster diving behind its offices in San Diego and came out with a bunch of documents containing social security and driver’s license numbers of its members and job applicants.    Ouch!

Second, Sen. Patrick Leahy is sponsoring a bill called the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2009 that would require entities that keep personal data (like employers) to establish effective programs for ensuring that such information is kept confidential.    You should definitely get ahead of this curve.

Two rather obvious suggestions:  first, have a written plan in place to maintain the confidentiality of all documents and electronic data that contain personal information like social security numbers, and train your employees to follow the plan.  Second, when you throw documents in the trash, shred those that contain confidential or private information.  You never know who might be diving into those dumpsters behind your office!


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