You may be aware that in recent news there was an alleged breach of confidential legal files from a Melbourne Law Firm.
An unsecured, unmarked recycling bin was found in Melbourne’s CBD legal precinct, near the corner of William and Little Lonsdale Street. Private and confidential files, including medical reports, police records, copies of financial statements, audio transcripts and previous settlement deeds were found in the unsecured bin.
On many of the documents, it was marked by letterhead of a Melbourne Law Firm that specialises in cases involving Workers Compensation, Native Titles and Tort Law.
When speaking to The Age, spokesman for acting Victorian Legal Services Commissioner, Russell Daily said that he was unable to say if the breach will be investigated.
“While our legislation prevents me from being able to discuss what we are doing about this particular matter, I can tell you that lawyers have an obligation to maintain their clients’ confidentiality at all times.
“Disposal of client files containing personal and/or sensitive information in an unsecure manner, regardless of the age of the files, may be a breach of that obligation,” the spokesman said.
Breach of Confidential Legal Files Melbourne Law Firm – All Businesses need to ensure Client Confidentiality
A breach of confidential documents and files can be disastrous to business that are entrusted with the information of their clients and business partners.
The Australian Information Commissioner OAIC can administer penalties of up to $1.7 million dollars for Corporations that have failed to ‘take reasonable steps’ in alignment with APP. 11.36.
Businesses that need to be especially concerned and aware about privacy matters include,
- Law Firms
- Doctors and Medical Specialists
- Accountants, Tax Agents and Bookkeepers
- IT professionals
How to avoid this happening to your business?
- When handling client documents and files, create and focus on internal policies that can prevent any breach or mishandling of information.
- Have at your place of business, clearly identified and lockable document destruction bin/s.
- Use a reputable On Site Document Shredding company when needing to destroy documents securely.
Why iShred are the experts to trust when it comes to the destruction of confidential files
- iShred can provide to your offices secure and identified document bins, and then arrange a schedule for us to come and empty them at a convenient time to you
- iShred are members of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and comply with the Code of Ethics, ensuring that all standards comply with the current legislation.
- iShred operates the latest equipment providing visual confirmation of the effective and compliant document destruction in line with the Privacy Act 1988, Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Protection) 2012 (Privacy Amendment Act)
- iShred provides a Certificate of Destruction upon the destruction of your documents.
Please make sure that your business follows their relevant Australian or State legislation – information provided in this article should be considered advice and if in doubt, contact your industry experts or associations.
Breach of Confidential Legal Files Melbourne Law Firm – Don’t let this happen to your business