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CALIFORNIA DOCUMENT DESTRUCTION LAWS

California has laws some of the strictest laws in place designed to protect the privacy of information about its residents. Here we've highlighted and outlined a few important parts of the law. You can find the complete text of these laws on the ca.gov website at: leginfo.ca.gov

 

This information includes:

"Personal information" means any information that identifies, relates to, describes, or is capable of being associated with, a particular individual, including, but not limited to, his or her name, signature, social security number, physical characteristics or description, address, telephone number, passport number, driver's license or state identification card number, insurance policy number, education, employment, employment history, bank account number, credit card number, debit card number, or any other financial information.

 

HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act)

This Act required the Department of Health and Human Services to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health plans, and employers. It also addresses the security and privacy of Patient Health Information (PHI). Specifically, it requires healthcare providers to destroy PHI before throwing it away.

 

California Civil Code 1798.80-1798.84

This California state law states that any business that deals with “personal information” “shall take all reasonable steps to destroy” a customer’s records that are no longer of value by “shredding, erasing or otherwise modifying” the information to render it unreadable. Any person injured by a violation of this rule may sue for civil damages. California is one of two states in the Union (Georgia is the other) with a state shredding law.

 

Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)

FACTA is a subset of the Fair credit Reporting Act. On June 1, 2005, FACTA’s section 216 will require any business or person who possesses consumer information to destroy the information before discarding it.

 

Other Laws Which Maybe Useful

  • California's waste reduction and recycling laws (AB939)
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    California Vs Greenwood

    In this landmark case in 1988, the Supreme Court ruled that trash is not private. The Court ruled “it is common knowledge that plastic garbage bags left along a public street are readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public.”
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