Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pizza receipts land in trash

If your data is supposed to go to a shredder, make sure it ends up there.

A dumpster in British Columbia has been found overflowing with credit card receipts that contain card numbers, expiry dates and customer names. The owner of the pizza joint where the receipts originated says they were sent to a shredder. Unfortunately, they never made it there.

There are two problems here: First, the paper should have gone to a shredder. That's a no-brainer. Secondly, that information should not have been on the slips in the first place. I am getting sick and tired of seeing full credit card data on slips that are generated by a computer terminal. All these transactions are settled electronically and there is simply no reaon for the full credit or debit card number to be printed everywhere. I have noticed that even companies that do not print the full number on the customer's copy often print the full data on the story copy. Why? I don't know but that's the version that wound up in the dumpster.

In short, if you don't need it, don't collect it or keep it. But if you do need it and do collect it, dispose of it properly.

24 Hours Vancouver - News: Pizza receipts land in trash


When Mark Schroeder slapped a pizza dinner on his Visa card in Whistler three years ago, he never thought that his Visa receipt would end up in a dumpster behind a Domino's franchise office in Port Coquitlam.

But on Tuesday afternoon when 24 hours followed an anonymous tip to the dumpster off Kingsway Avenue, Schroeder's credit-card slip, complete with account number, expiry date and name, was among thousands in a trash container.

"I can't even think of a word to describe how upset I am right now. What can you say?" Schroeder said from his home in Pemberton. "I'm kind of awestruck, actually, that they would do something like this and treat their customers with such a lack of respect."

The anonymous tipster felt the same way when he came across the dumpster, overflowing with credit-card slips and card imprints, on his morning walk to work.

"I was angry because that could have been my stuff in there," he said, adding "there's credit-card numbers, expiry dates and signatures on there that makes it very obvious to identity theft."

According to Gord Jamieson, Visa Canada's director of Risk Management and Security, "there is a requirement under the Payment Card Data Security Standards for the destruction of data.

"The data must be securely destroyed in a manner such that the account data is no longer readable," he said.

Domino's franchise owner Gary Josefczyk oversees the office and owns 21 Domino's Pizzas throughout the Lower Mainland.

He said the credit-card slips were sent to a mobile shredder.

"I don't know what to say. My policy is to shred them after nine months of holding them," he said.

Josefczyk declined to comment any further.

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