Is it February already? What happened to January? Well, it was a good start to a good year. I hope yours was just as great. This month and in the months to follow we begin taking a closer look at data protection here in the U.S. From where it started to where we are now, what all this means for you and your business, and so much more.
Data Protection in the Beginning
Social Security Numbers?
Data protection and security has always existed in some form or another. Since the beginning, it has always been understood that some information should not be shared with everyone. One of the things we keep private is our social security number. So here is a little background on how it all got started.
Social Security numbers are used for so much today, it’s hard to believe that originally, this number was only meant to track social security benefits. No one had the slightest idea that it would become important outside of its intended purpose. That’s why, when the Social Security Act was established in 1934, it legally prevented unauthorized access to a citizen’s Social Security number, but it only applied to the Social Security Administration. Back then no other agency used the number. As time moved on Social security numbers became an integral part of banking and the credit monitoring system. This eventually led to illegal activity, and abuses surrounding its misuse. Decades later, after the events surrounding the Hoover and Nixon Administrations, the U.S. Congress passed the Privacy Act of 1974. This act prohibited the unauthorized disclosure of personal information by the Federal government without the written permission of said individual, unless otherwise required for legal purposes. Today neither of these acts play a significant role in overall data protection. It is important, however, to note that even in those days, the federal government began recognizing the importance of protecting personal information. The government spotted a growing concern and began identifying responsibility’s to protect this information, by limiting access.
Enter the new tech age, the 90’s. Cell phones and computers were more accessible. Everyone had AOL and dial-up and we all waited for and harmonized with the “You’ve Got Mail” voice. We all blew into our Mario cartridge so the Nintendo would start up and not glitch. Figuring out how to send your friend the perfect number so when they flipped their pager upside down they would get a good laugh. By the mid 90’s it was becoming even more apparent that electronic data management was the new direction we were heading in.
With computers being more accessible, information became even more readily available. Hospitals were able to access your health information sooner, which provided better care. Emergency rooms were becoming more accurate, and efficient. Financial institutions were affected as well, computers allowed banks to sell insurance and equities. Insurance companies could sell retail banking products and investment service. Financial institutions that were previously limited to state-level corporate structures, could form national organizations. This led to a large-scale consolidation of those financial institutions, and bring on the large national banks.
Once again, the federal government stepped up and passed two laws, in order to both manage and incentivize the use of data management into this electronic new world. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which was enacted in 1996, and The Financial Services Modernization Act (FSMA) enacted in 1999. FSMA was cosponsored by Senator Phil Gramm and Representatives Thomas Bliley JR, and Jim Leach. This caused the act to become more widely known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). Keep in mind, data protection was not the main purpose of either act, however, it was seen as important to their purpose.
Stay tuned for the next few issues where we begin to take a closer look at HIPAA and GLBA.
Helping Our Customers
It has been our goal, since the beginning, to always provide our customers with the best service possible. Starting with our friendly office staff, to our amazing shred technicians. We offer a variety of service choices from residential to businesses alike. Whether your needs include a one time or an ongoing service we can help. We even offer an on-call service for those in need of a container but do not need a regular pick up. We are AAA NAID Certified, licensed and bonded. Give us a call and our friendly staff will help you find the right solution for your needs. Want a preview of our containers. Go to our website at www.AShred2Pieces.com. Click on the tab marked consoles and bins. We even provide the dimensions should you need them.
How It Works
Ever wondered how our service works. It’s simple, we come to you. Our drivers have a recycle bin that they put your documents into and everything is shredded right there on site with our trucks. We even have camera feeds that allow you to watch the process upon request. The documents are shredded into confetti-size bits and we dispose of the shredded material for you, by taking it to our local recycling facility. We even offer a wide variety of payment options. You can choose to pay the driver with cash (must be exact as the drivers do not carry change, credit or check. Want to wait for an invoice? We can do that too. We email you your invoice no later than the following business day. On the email is a link you can use to pay online or you can even mail us a check. Four our recurring customers we also offer auto pay and accept ACH payments. We want to make things simple and easy for our clients.