Archive for May, 2007

Shred Day – or yet another example of counter-productive security

May 11, 2007

Today is once again “Shred Day” at one of our local TV stations – KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8.  They do this every month or two, to help prevent identity theft”.  You can bring up to 2 boxes of personal or confidential documents to be shredded and recycled.  It’s a great idea and a nice service, except for one thing – they actually put a “shred cam” in the shredder, either as documents are coming out of the strip cutter or, like today, in the hopper of documents to be shred!  Yes, they are actually broadcasting film of people’s confidential documents in a readable form during the newscast!  From glancing at the TV from across the room I could determine the general nature of some of the documents!  I’m sure that if I’d recorded the broadcast, I could have reconstructed several of the documents.  So, here are people trying to protect their documents and instead, they are being broadcast throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.  Not to mention, that if I want to steal people’s personal information, which sounds like more fun – picking through trash hoping to get lucky and find something, or sitting at my computer reconstructing documents the owners were trying to protect from their video images.

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