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Investigation: Government Improperly Dumping Personal Data

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On November 8, 2008 the St. Petersburg Times posted an article regarding improper disposals by county and state government in Pinellas and that these disposals may violate state and federal law. Pinellas clerk of the circuit court auditors released a report that says child abuse records, juvenile defendant information, Social Security numbers, medical information and privileged attorney-client documents turned up in dumpsters at several government complexes.

"Citizens are forced to provide confidential information to the government," said Bob Melton, the clerk's audit director. "So the government has a huge responsibility to ensure that information is protected. And in these cases, it was not."

Government agencies need to act on the fact that secure information destruction is one way to ensure that information is protected.

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