October 25th, 2016 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

FTC Seeks Public Comments: Document Disposal Rule

FTC Asks For Feedback on Disposal Rule | Sterling

Running a background check requires a few key pieces of sensitive personal information from your candidates. Identifiers including your candidate’s name, social security number, date of birth and address could easily compromise your candidate’s privacy if they fell into the wrong hands. In order to protect your candidate, it is important that information is properly disposed of to ensure privacy, security and confidentiality.

The “Proper Disposal of Consumer Information 16 CFR 682.3” (known commonly as the “Disposal Rule”) was originally enacted under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA). In an effort to keep up with current practices and as part of a systematic review of all regulations, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comments on the Disposal Rule. The FTC has opened up public comments through November 21, 2016. Instructions for submitting comments can be found here.

According to Leslie King, a senior attorney at the FTC, the goal of the Disposal Rule is to keep sensitive information “out of the hands of hackers, dumpster divers and data thieves and thereby reducing the risk of fraud and identity theft.”

Disposing of Consumer Information

The Disposal Rule requires reasonable measures and practices for the disposal of print and electronic records derived from consumer reports that contain personal information. Procedures for the proper disposal include the following:

  • Burn, pulverize or shred papers containing consumer report information so the information cannot be read or reconstructed
  • Destroy or erase electronic files or media containing consumer report information so the information cannot be read or reconstructed
  • Conduct due diligence and hire a third party document destruction company to dispose of material specifically identified as consumer report information. In this case, due diligence refers to:
    • Reviewing an independent audit of a disposal company’s operation and/or its compliance with the Rule
    • Obtaining information about the disposal company from several references
    • Requiring the disposal company be certified by a recognized trade association
    • Reviewing and evaluating the disposal company’s information security policies or procedures.

The FTC Wants To Hear Your Thoughts

As part of a systematic review, the FTC is asking the public, human resources and employment screening organizations to answer, in writing, key questions about the benefits as well as the disadvantages of the disposal regulations. Below are just a few examples of the questions in the Federal Register release from the FTC:

  • Is there a continuing need for specific provisions of the Disposal Rule?
  • What benefits has the Disposal Rule provided to consumers?
  • What modifications, if any, should be made to the Disposal Rule to increase its benefits to consumers?
  • What significant costs, if any, has the Disposal Rule imposed on consumers?

All comments received by the FTC about the law on or before November 21, 2016 will be posted on the FTC public policy website.

Here at Sterling, we are committed to your success. In a world where laws are regularly changing, we’re here to support all of your background screening and onboarding needs. If you’d like to get in touch with us, you can submit a contact request here or call us directly at 855-747-9783.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.