Few people place career counseling centers in the financial industry. They help people find jobs, not loans or investments, after all. A number of career counseling centers meet the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act's definition of a financial institution, however. These centers are required to protect their client's personal information, as set forth in the Act. If you run a center that meets the Act's definition of a financial institution, protect both your clients and your organization by hiring a commercial shredding company.
The GLB Act's Definition of Financial Institutions
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is responsible for enforcing the GLB Act, provides a summary of all the businesses and organizations that qualify as financial institutions under the Act. The list includes any organization that:
The list also contains a less-obvious financial institution: certain career counseling centers. Per the GLB Act's definition, any career counseling center that places individuals in financial services industry is also considered a financial institution. Even if you run a diverse organization that helps chefs, teachers and accountants find employment, your center is considered a financial institution because it helps CPAs find positions in the financial services industry. The same would be true for a center that placed financial planners, credit counselors or investment advisors in open positions.
The GLB Act's Protections for Consumers
The GLB Act protects private information consumers give any of the above-defined financial institutions. From the moment information is offered, it is protected by the Act. The FTC's page explains that institutions are expected to provide a privacy notice when first receiving any consumer's information.
The GLB Act's protections continue beyond the initial privacy notice, though. As long as a financial institution has consumers' private information, that information is protected by the 1999 act. While they have it, institutions must safeguard it. When it is no longer useful, any documents that contain the information must be destroyed.
Hiring a commercial shredding service is the safest way for any financial institution, including your career counseling center if it counts as one, to destroy sensitive documents. In theory, you could use an office-size cross-cut shredder to dispose of these documents, but using a small shredder takes a long time and does not provide your organization with any additional form of security.
In contrast, commercial shredding services will come to your office, quickly shred all the documents you no longer need and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction.
A Certificate of Destruction guarantees that the documents were properly disposed of. Should there be any question about their destruction, the certificate may shift responsibility from your center to the shredding service you hired.
A commercial shredding service can be scheduled to come by your office at a time that is convenient and destroy all appropriate documents. If you aren't present when the service comes, then a lockbox will keep the papers safe. Just put the papers in the secure box, and the shredding company will transfer them directly from the box into the shredder. They will leave a Certificate of Destruction for you.
If you run a career counseling center and have placed someone in the financial services industry, protect both your client's information and your center by hiring a shredding service to destroy sensitive documents. Only a commercial shredder will give you a Certificate of Destruction, which is a guarantee for both your clients and your organization, after the documents are disposed of. Having a certificate will show that your center properly disposed of the information the GLB Act protects.
For more information, contact a local company like ABC Moving & Storage, that offers document shredding services.
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