Important Document Security Regulations

Nancy B. Alston

At our current technological level it is easy to forget some of the security basics. Identity theft, bank fraud and other so called modern crimes have been around for some time, they just have new ways of being committed. That said, it’s a good idea for all of us to review some of the laws and regulations that are currently in place.

Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA was enacted in 1996 and the mandatory compliance date is April 14, 2003. All hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, health plans, medical billing companies and any other business entity involved in the health care industry must comply. The rules apply to all protected health information. The Standard for Privacy of Identifiable Health Information requires that covered entities put in place administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of protected health information. One example given of a safeguard for the proper disposal of paper documents containing protected health information is that the documents be shredded prior to disposal. Find out more >>

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (1999) Financial Services Modernization Act

This Federal legislation went into effect in 2000, the privacy provisions in the law require that financial institutions and insurance companies give consumers prior notice of an intention to share personal information and a chance to opt out of the sharing of such information. The law states that these institutions and companies need to “respect the privacy of its customers and to protect the security and confidentiality of those customers’ non-public information.” The language suggest that paper documents containing such personal information should also be protected and safely destroyed. Find out more >>

Federal Privacy Act of 1974

This law was established in 1974 to insure that government agencies protect the privacy of individuals and businesses with regard to information held by them and to hold these agencies liable for any information released without proper authorization.

Supreme Court Case

California v Greenwood, The US Supreme Court ruled in 1988 that any item placed in the trash is considered public information.

These are just the major ones. Do you, your family and your business a favor and look into some professional document security and paper shredding options.

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