Are You up to Date on Compliance?
Ada Louise Huxtable, an esteemed American architecture writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, once remarked, “Nothing was more up to date when it was built, or is more obsolete today, than the railroad station.” Those iconic structures were once masterpieces; grand buildings in cities that garnered attention, while the smaller town depots served as bustling hubs where locals converged, eagerly awaiting incoming news.
Similarly, the policies governing compliance in your business can swiftly become outdated without regular review. Though initially designed to safeguard sensitive information, they might require revisiting and intentional updates over time.
Reviewing Privacy Laws is Key
Your business could fall under the jurisdiction of various privacy laws. Are your staff, including recent hires, well-versed in and compliant with these regulations?
- Technology: The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) stipulates the proper handling and disposal of digital documents.
- Education: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) safeguards students’ and parental records.
- Health: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs the handling of personal health information (PHI) by healthcare organizations.
- Financial: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) regulate the use, sharing, and financial record-keeping of private information.
- Consumer: The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) shields consumers from identity theft and credit report misuse.
- Future State Laws: For instance, Pennsylvania introduced a consumer data privacy act (HB 708) in 2023, emphasizing the protection of personal consumer data and imposing duties on data controllers and processors; providing for enforcement; prescribing penalties and establishing the Consumer Privacy fund.
Maintaining Chain of Custody
Does your privacy protection process establish and uphold a paper trail tracing the custody, transfer, analysis, and destruction of information? From the moment private data is generated to its eventual disposal, a meticulous record-keeping process must be maintained.
- Secure Information Storage: Ensuring the safety of your records means storing them in secure locations, shielded from potential theft, environmental hazards, and unforeseen natural disasters. The option of using offsite records management services for file storage and backups further strengthens security measures.
- Adhere to Retention Periods: Each file in your business archives is subject to specific retention periods stipulated by either state or federal laws. It’s imperative to use caution in scheduling the removal and destruction of those files when their expiration date arrives. Early removal or delayed destruction can both constitute noncompliance.
- Proper Document Destruction: Ensuring the proper destruction of documents is a crucial aspect of compliance. The law offers various methods for destroying physical paper information, with shredding standing out as a safe and secure technique for both paper documents and hard drives. Privacy laws mandate that once information is destroyed, it should render the data impossible to recover or reconstruct. To maintain a solid chain of custody and adhere to compliance standards, it’s essential to document proof of destruction.
Allegheny Records specializes in safe records storage and compliant document shredding. Our industrial shredders guarantee irrecoverable destruction, and we provide a Certificate of Destruction as verification. Contact us at 412-381-1010 or complete the form on this page to ensure your compliance is current.