It is the LAW and your responsibility to keep employees, customers and your records from potential theft or stiff penalties could result. At the Federal level, FACTA (Credit Report Info). HIPAA (healthcare) and Gramm-Leach-Bililey (financial) require specific physical safeguards, such as shredding, to meet compliance.
Customers and Employees are concerned about their Identity and Privacy; Companies are also concerned with protecting trade information, they entrust you with this information they consider to be extremely confidential. When confidential information is collected by you to conduct business you have an implied contract to protect this information.
Dumpster Diving has become Investigative Journalism 101. With all the privacy compliance laws, it is the first place reporters look when trying to grab a headline. The trash is NOT considered private property and without proper safeguards any one can obtain your information legally. When shredding is conducted within an establishment and the material is put into the trash the same laws and fines are implicated if the material is reconstructed. This has been accomplished and is why it is recommended to use an outside shred company to fully handle your documents.
How would you want your information treated?
Your Trade Rights
Courts have demonstrated many times that they will not recognize trade information protections if a company does not take every step to protect the information themselves. Casual disposal of information has been the basis for courts to deny trade information rights, which otherwise would have been enforceable. The U.S. Supreme court has ruled that you forfeit the right of ownership to discarded information.
Why use a Destruction Contractor?
Employees are more productive when focused on their core responsibilities
Safety-even small machines could cause injury if they grab clothing or accessories
Reduced capital and employment expenditures
Company info such as payroll, legal and employment issues, and correspondence should not be accessible to most employees
In-house shredding will not handle large volumes and may prompt employees to circumvent the destruction process.