Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Burying records in Texas

Here's an odd thing. Until recently, it was legal in Texas for governments to just put private records under some dirt when disposing of them. And, apparently, they did not have to be secretive about it.

From the Express-News:

Thousands of pieces of personal information — a gold mine in this age of identity theft — was found buried in a park in Converse. ...

"Drivers license (numbers). Social Security (numbers). Lot of photographs. All the information you'd ever want if you were going to do any kind of fraud," said David Meyer, who is part of the crew that discovered the files. ...

Converse City Manager Sam Hughes did not want to go on camera but says the city never envisioned that all those files, which were buried in 1998, would ever be
accidentally dug up.

In 1998, it was perfectly legal to bury that kind of paperwork, but the state law was changed five years ago.

And while routine paperwork can still be buried all personal information has to be burned, recycled or shredded.

Monday morning the city sent in at least half a dozen dump trucks to haul out all of the buried files.

But it's where the files were sent that's concern [sic] some people. The files were sent straight over and buried at the other city park in Converse.

Converse is a suburb of San Antonio. If you live there, be careful with your identity.

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