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Message Clear in Financial Services Committee Hearings

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NAID Government Relations Committee Member, Bestor Ward did more than just hold his own during his appearance before the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4, 2005. He ably delivered a message that NAID will continue to take to policy-makers; the message that information destruction must be part of any comprehensive approach to data protection.

Appearing along side Mr. Ward at the hearings were top officials from ChoicePoint®, NexisLexis®, and Bank of America®, all of whom were called to explain their response to the high-profile releases of massive amounts of personal information that have recently made the headlines.

Sometimes such committee hearings are sparsely attended but not in this instance. Largely because of the status of the other firms that appeared with NAID on the panel, and the attention of the media on the events leading to this hearing, most of the 50 or so House Financial Services Committee partook in the questioning.

At one point, Mr. Ward was able to actually state that while these high-profile releases of large concentrations of personal information get headlines, they are dwarfed by the amount of personal information that continues to be casually discarded across America on a daily basis. He also conveyed that it would be irresponsible to pass legislation restricting the sale or transfer of personal information and ignore the fact that in most cases it is not illegal to simply put it in the dumpster for anyone to take for free.

Policy-makers made it very clear that stronger legislation regarding data protection requirements is inevitable. NAID’s attention on continuing government relations initiatives ensures that the information disposal issue will not be overlooked.