While we worry about security flaws and poor company policies that could lead to our data being exposed to all that’s worst in the IT world, theft and fraud, we might be overlooking one important aspect that could very well harm us: the companies that just couldn’t care less about what happens to our data!
Think of this scenario: company XYZ decides business used to be way better years ago and it’s time to cut their losses and close their doors. Over the years, they have collected interesting private details from their customers which need to be disposed of somehow. No, they won’t just delete it from their computers, cause it’s kind of printed on paper. So why go to the trouble of shoving the paper trails down a shredder when they could just dump it at the nearby garbage bin?
This was the case of a Hollywood Video store in the Baring Village Shopping Center. Like many others in their chain, they had to be closed. So they took hundreds of filled out membership forms and threw them in the garbage bin in the back. Unknowing customers were thus exposed to ID theft and fraud. Most forms cotained names, addresses, birthdates, ID numbers and signatures, but some of them also contained credit card details.
Luckily enough, some of the forms were found and returned to those who submitted them, while the rest will soon be destroyed by the local police. The question is who to blame in such a case? Former employees or the company? I’d say both and home some action is taken against them.