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Wanted: Common Sense in Records Management

If you’re one of those who thinks all the talk about privacy and records management disaster preparedness is merely a plot by consultants to rain on your parade, then consider this story from the New York Post of November 7, 2009:

Confetti-crazed Yankee fans in buildings along the parade route decided to use confidential financial documents in place of ticker tape – literally tossing common sense out the window.

While the Downtown Alliance distributed more than half a ton of recycled confetti to buildings, some office workers, in their enthusiasm, dumped entire files over the Canyon of Heroes.

“We’re finding pay stubs. We’re finding personal financial information. We found a balance sheet of someone’s trust fund showing $300,000 in stock,” said Damian Salo, 29, an internal auditor attending the parade with friends.

Just another reason to hate the Yankees, I know.

But it also points up the critical fact that nothing is as secure as you think it is, and nothing goes as far as a little common sense. There’s little doubt that the manager of the office from which the aforementioned balance sheet was flung was sure the documents in his or her control were protected. Like as not, they were signed out to a trusted employee, placed on a desk in a locked office suite, and probably marked “confidential” as well. Too bad the desk was near an open window facing the parade route.

Read the rest of this article in Infonomics magazine on the AIIM Web site at

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