Who Is Held Accountable for Improper PII Disposal?
Personally Identifiable Information, often referred to as PII, is information that can be used to determine an individual’s identity. Consider the information you shared when applying to and starting your current and previous jobs—or if you are a business owner, how many employees you have and the information you have gathered and stored on each of them. That’s quite a bit of information, if you think about it, scattered throughout each company or business you’ve ever worked for.
If you own a Cleveland business that handles and stores PII on its employees, then you are responsible for protecting that information. Your employees are entrusting you with private information, so it is your duty to protect your employees by protecting their personal information.
It’s important to understand what actually constitutes as PII, as the list may surprise you. PII can be anything from a piece of data that directly identifies you, such as a social security number, to a few pieces of data that can be linked together to deduce you are, like a medical record, or a phone number and address. This information is also PII if it is used to contact or locate an individual.
Here is a List of Common PII Items:
- Full Legal Name
- Home Address
- Telephone Number
- Marital Status
- Military Status
- Social Security Number
- Bank Account and Routing Numbers
- Date of Birth
- Medical Information
- Passport Number
- National Identification Number
- Vehicle Registration Plate Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Private Email Address
- Picture Depicting a Face
- Digital Identity
- Genetic Information
- Login Name, Screen Name, Nickname or Handle
Regardless of your industry or the size of your company, legal requirements exist on the federal, state and local levels governing the use, storage, and destruction of PII. According to the National Archives and Records Administration, penalties for failing to safeguard an employee’s information can vary on a case-by-case base.
Here a Few General Guidelines Provided by NARA:
- Users are held personally accountable for their actions related to the PII entrusted to them. Failure to comply with the stated rules of behavior may result in administrative penalties or criminal sanctions.
- Supervisors are subject to disciplinary action for failure to ensure that their staff completes an agency-wide or job-specific PII training or for failure to take appropriate action upon discovering a suspected or actual breach of PII.
Don’t Put Your Business at Risk—Ensure the Protection of Previous Employees by Shredding Their Records Today!
The repercussions of carelessly handling files can be very severe. Not only does it damage you and your business’s reputation and expose you to lawsuits and fines, but it also damages an individual’s quality of life. Don’t implement business practices that cause harm to others in the form of identity theft or worse.
Cleveland Document Shredding can help you protect your business today by connecting you with a regular shredding service. Be it mobile shredding, off-site shredding, or hard drive shredding, we have the means to ensure you get the most secure services for your business. Simply fill out the form to the left or call us at (330) 441-4260 for a free quote today!