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The Media and NAID Carry the Industry into 2008

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Commentary is usually not included in NAIDDirect.  However, as we begin a new and exciting year, we ask you to indulge us. 

The last half of 2007 saw more publicly reported fines, charges, lawsuits and firings for improper disposal of confidential information than in the prior decade – maybe in history.  I am not referring to general data breaches, for which fines, charges, lawsuits and firings have been rising for a couple of years. I am specifically referring to publicly announced punishment for bad information disposal practices. 

While we do not want to minimize the newfound seriousness with which many law enforcement agencies are acting, it is the media that deserves the credit.  Reporters, acting in their capacity as defenders of the public, have made responsible disposal a big deal.  The outrage caused by this reporting is what is making the difference. 

Within this very edition of NAIDDirect, there is a report from England, involving improperly discarded patient records, that shows how the media’s involvement is continuing to evolve.  Within the report, the reporter actually asks readers to contact them specifically if they ever see any other incidents of irresponsible disposal practices.  These conscientious reporters are now overtly enlisting the public to report the improper disposal of information. 

With this public flogging of violators, it is very likely that the industry will see the last half of 2007 initiating another major turning point and make 2008 the year in which the need for proper information destruction is taken far more seriously by the general business community. 

It is important to remind readers that NAID has played an important role in this, too.  Often, these reporters contact the association for background information on their stories even if the association is not mentioned in the articles.  Without NAID to provide the necessary background on the issue of information destruction, many of these reporters would have no frame of reference in pursuing the issue. 

It is just one of the many ways NAID is improving the business climate for secure information destruction.  We invite readers who have not yet joined our efforts to do so. NAID is nothing more than the industry coming together to serve their needs by serving the needs of the community.  That is something every serious service provider should respect and support.  Please help us. 

Click here to download a NAID Membership application.