When employees do not practice adequate document destruction practices, private information could find its way into the wrong hands. One prominent official on Canada's Veterans Review and Appeal Board says he was the victim of a smear campaign after careless document security left his personal information vulnerable.
Harold Leduc, a 22-year military veteran, alleges that his personal medical information was accessed by more than 40 government officials because safeguards that were meant to limit the access to these important files were not properly followed, according to The Canadian Press.
That information was then used by opponents to discredit and intimidate Leduc, he says, potentially as a reaction to his pro-veteran stance on review board decisions. The Canadian Human Rights Commission ordered the veterans board to compensate Leduc financially for the harassment and legal costs he sustained as a result of the privacy breach.
"I was devastated because it was a huge breach of trust that they can't go back on," Leduc told the Press. "I'm very embarrassed about my service-related disabilities and I don't think that's anybody's business, but mine. I was just shocked and devastated."
Such breaches are possible if companies do not have strong privacy guidelines in place to protect private information. The Press reports that the Veterans Board did deploy such practices after a similar breach occurred in 2010, however the latest scandal shows these measures did not work to their full effect.
By relying on a certified paper and document shredding service, companies can receive the guidance needed to institute strong privacy security procedures in their business. Additionally, these services can properly destroy critical documents once they are no longer needed.
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