Confetti rained down upon people who had gathered in New York City to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday. Some onlookers were surprised—and alarmed—when they discovered shredded police documents among the colorful confetti that had fallen from above. The documents contained confidential information that was still legible. The “police confetti” included the “social security numbers and banking information for police employees, some of whom are undercover officers.”
Tufts University freshman Ethan Finkelstein and a friend noticed that a strip of confetti that had landed on his friend’s shoulder had stuck to her coat. Finkelstein was concerned—“so he and his friends picked up more of the confetti that had fallen around them.” Finkelstein said, “There are phone numbers, addresses, more social security numbers, license plate numbers and then we find all these incident reports from police.”
A closer look at the shredded documents showed that they had come from the Nassau County Police Department. Nassau police have promised to investigate the situation. Inspector Kenneth Lack, a spokesman for the Nassau County Police, said the department is “very concerned about the situation. We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents.” The statement from the Nassau County Police Department did not address who shreds sensitive police documents or who carts them away.
According to Newsday, the “police documents were shredded into narrow horizontal strips running the width of the page — one of the least secure methods.”
Evidently, this isn’t the first time confidential information has rained down as confetti on the streets of New York. Earlier this year, during the Super Bowl Parade for the Giants along the Canyon of Heroes, confetti dropped from some office buildings included “unshredded paper containing personal information and records, including Social Security numbers and medical records.”
Wouldn’t you think that people responsible for the shredding and disposal of documents that include confidential information like people’s social security numbers and medical records could find a better way to do it?
Shredded Police Documents Found At Macy’s 2012 Thanksgiving Day Parade (Huffington Post)