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California City Outlaw Dumpster Diving to Thwart ID Theft

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An article by Adam Ashton, appearing in the Modesto Bee on January 9th, reports that beginning in March 2008, Modesto police will be able to arrest people digging through garbage cans under a new ordinance the City Council approved Tuesday night. The measure passed by a 5-2 vote with supporters saying it would give police a tool to detain and search Dumpster divers for signs of attempts to commit identity theft.

Opposition to the law mostly centered on the position that the law was redundant and excessive. It seems that few currently see a more troublesome outcome, being that businesses and consumers would shirk their responsibilities to destroy discarded personal information on the basis of a false sense of security.

It seems the genesis of this law stems from the fact that the husband of a Modesto city councilwoman was a victim of ID Theft that was traced back to a Dumpster diving incident.

Click here to read the entire article.

Click here to read a follow-up editorial appearing in the same paper a few days later, which points out that businesses need to take responsibility for proper disposal of personal information.