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Sensitive documents traced to Rent-A-Center

6:39 PM, Jul 10, 2012   |    comments
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LAWRENCEVILLE, GA -- A man who said he was looking for boxes for an upcoming move said he made a disturbing discovery in a dumpster behind a strip mall on Scenic Highway.

He showed 11Alive News a large, open box filled with 32 files containing people's personal information including social security numbers, addresses and copies of their driver's licenses.

The tipster didn't want us to televise his name or face, but his story about the data found checks out. 

The name and address of Rent-A-Center at 247 Scenic Highway, Lawrenceville is on documents in all 32 files.  That office is in the strip mall where the dumpster is located.

A manager at that Rent-A-Center referred 11Alive to a representative at the corporate headquarters.  We called and left a message. 

Three days later we received the following statement from Rent-A-Center headquarters:

"Committed to the protection of sensitive customer information, Rent-A-Center has a nationwide contract with a leading shredding service for the secure disposal of sensitive documents. Though the source of this breach has not yet been fully determined, it appears to be tied to the inadvertent mishandling of a small box of files during a construction project."

Dumping sensitive documents is a serious matter.

According to Georgia law (O.C.G.A. Section 10-15-1) a business should properly dispose of any {sensitive} documents."  The statute goes on to say the business "needs to...shred...erase...modify records so that the personal information is unreadable."

To be fair, the company may not have been ready to dispose of the documents.

11Alive attempted to contact all 32 customers named in these files to warn them of the situation. 

Rent-A-Center attorneys requested that 11Alive return the dumped documents and the box they were found in. That happened Tuesday morning.  

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