About a month ago, I went to Sanderson High School in North Raleigh to speak to three Forensics Science classes about the use of documents as evidence. One of their recent projects involved reconstructing shredded documents. Now, I typically advise government employees to review their shredding contracts to ensure that their confidential information cannot be later recovered. When giving this advice, however, I always assumed this was an extra precaution because when would anyone get a hold of enough of these documents to put any of the information together?
Well. It happened. At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, no less. The confetti? Confidential police documents. Those acid vats Mark mentioned are looking pretty good right now. The moral of the story is, make sure you contract with waste paper handlers who understand the rules concerning records confidentiality!