The Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (DON CIO) Privacy Team receives numerous personally identifiable information breach reports each month involving PII that has been thrown into trash cans, office recycling containers and dumpsters. To reduce the likelihood of this occurring, it is important to maintain awareness of what constitutes PII and how it should, and should not, be handled.
The following article provides one command's proactive approach and best practice to combating the compromise of PII. It is reprinted with permission from the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Public Affairs Office.
For some, recycling is a simple matter of separating papers and plastics. The base recycling center is emphasizing that it may not be that simple with the recent development of a new “No PII” recycling bin sticker.
Charles Bradshaw, the base recycling manager here said, when personally identifiable information (PII) is improperly disposed of it leaves people vulnerable to identity theft and could jeopardize operational security.
“The primary problem that we have is that a lot of people just take paper, regardless of what the content is, and throw it in the recycling bin,” Bradshaw said.
As of May 17, the recycling center began distribution of a sticker that will be an active reminder of the importance of protecting your PII and its proper disposal.
We all owe it to each other to protect our identities,” Bradshaw said. “We have an opportunity to limit access to our information and our brother’s, sister’s and family’s information by ensuring that it is destroyed properly.”
The DON CIO Privacy Team has a limited supply of preprinted placards on sticker stock (8 1/2 x 11 and 4 x 6) that can be requested by providing a mailing address, phone number, email address, and quantity desired through the "Ask an Expert" feature on the DON CIO website: www.doncio.navy.mil. Select "Privacy" from the topic drop-down menu.
Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca is with the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton public affairs office.