Property Grunt

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why use a shredder when you have your bare hands?

Gothamist posted this story from Eyewitness news.

It's a Citi Habitats client's worst nightmare—and a dream come true for identity thieves. WABC 7's Eyewitness News discovered "Scores of documents"—driver's licenses, credit reports—"were found strewn on the street for anyone to pick up." Told of finding her info on the street, one woman said, "Just in the gutter? My life was in the gutter. That's nice" Though businesses are required to shred such sensitive material, Citi Habitats' West 82nd and Columbus location "accidentally" left 2006-2007 client documents on the street during renovations, and a statement said, "We took immediate steps. to investigate and remediate this isolated incident, and are notifying those customers whose information may have been compromised." But WABC 7 found in spite of Citi Habitats' "remediation," "We were still finding documents a block away a full eight hours after the clean up was over."

Unfortunately, a lot of rental firms go through a high turnover rate in terms of agents and clients who come in. Which leads to a lot of excess paper. I knew of one manager of a rental firm who justified not having a shredder when agents could just tear up the information with their hands.

Awhile back, I did an entry on the responsibilities of an agent in protecting their clients' information. I will have to look for that. In the meantime, trust no one.