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Due to the rapidly increasing incidence of identity theft and the awareness of the importance of protecting personal information, laws and regulations regarding the protection of personal information have been enacted in Australia, North America, Japan, the UK and other EU countries.

Proper destruction of confidential information ensures security and compliance with new requirements. Note that while many businesses and governments departments choose to destroy private information to avoid embarrassment, disruption and a loss of business, legislation forces the need to destroy information. When offered the opportunity to have destroyed onsite, many organisations consider it an easy way of being sure of the information destruction process.

- Privacy law AB 2246 was enacted in 2000 for Californians'. Businesses must now destroy customer records containing personal information by shredding them, erasing them, or making them unreadable. Injured customers can file lawsuits for civil damages against companies that fail to comply.

- The UK Data Protection Act 1998 that came into force in 2000, places a statutory obligation on organisations to ensure appropriate steps are taken to safeguard the information, both manual and electronic, in their keeping especially when it is no longer required.

- In the USA the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 and includes 2003 provisions. Hippa is intended to safeguard the privacy of patient health records. Today it is imperative that medical organisations protect themselves, their patients and their employees' private and confidential information.

- Gramm-Leach Biliey Act places significant restrictions on the use of customer information by those in the financial industry. These restrictions recognise that non-public personal, financial, and health information must be safeguarded and include proper disposal procedures.

- Federal Privacy Act was enacted to protect the privacy of individuals and business. Public agencies and private business can be held liable if any personal information is released to unauthorised individuals.

- The Australian Privacy Act 1988 was amended in 2000 to apply to the private sector as well as the public sector and credit reporting agencies. The 2000 amendments came into force from December 21st 2002.

- In Japan the Personal Information Act (2003) created specific laws and regulations concerning the need for higher standards of care in handling personal information.

* Nothing within this document constitutes a business performance guarantee by AXO Shredders, or an offer by AXO Shredders, or part of any other contract with AXO Shredders. This document is based on assumptions that may or may not apply in your market, and we encourage you to perform your own investigations and obtain your own independent financial advice.
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