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[Dataloss] GA: Documents Loaded with Personal Information Found in Atlanta Dumpster

From: Michael Hill, CITRMS (mhillidtexperts.com)
Date: Sat Aug 16 2008 - 09:45:23 CDT


ATLANTA (MyFOX Atlanta) - Thousands of documents loaded with social security numbers and other personal information were thrown out Friday, left in dumpsters that anyone could get to.

"I thought, wow, that's a lot of cardboard. And then I said, wait a minute, those look like documents," said George Altman.

Altman works at the Northlake office park where the documents were dumped. Altman said it took him about 10 seconds to realize there was a problem.

"As you see, this thing is full of things like this, where there's a person's photo on here. You open it up and there's a social security readily available," said Altman.

The documents listed dates of birth, addresses and even medical records in almost every file.

No one was at the law office Friday afternoon where the case files originated. Late Friday, the personal injury lawyer who represented the clients in the files said the cases were closed so he threw the documents out. He later admitted it was a mistake to dump them.

"These are old records, they're 10 years old, but I still live in the same house I had 10 or 15 years ago and my social security number hasn't changed," said Altman.

The files filled up parts of three dumpsters and the personal information of literally thousands of people were there for anyone to take. The information belonged to people not just from the Atlanta area, but from everywhere from Lula to Jackson.

"I am completely stunned by this and I can't believe this is still happening in today's age, when we're so aware of identity theft," said Altman.

Michael Hill, MCSD
Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist

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