TOPEKA, KS – Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Tuesday that a business that dumped more than 900 files containing the personal information of its customers will pay a $70,000 fine.
The files, found in March 2014 outside the office of Central Regional Dental Testing Service, Inc. of Topeka, contained personal information including names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, medical history, x-rays and other personal information, according to a consent judgment filed in Shawnee County District Court.
After being alerted to the unsecured documents, the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division secured them so the personal information was not exposed to potential identity thieves.
“Kansas law imposes a duty to properly dispose of customers’ personal information when business files are no longer to be retained,” Schmidt said. “Dumping sensitive records in an unsecured trash receptacle, where people’s personal information is readily exposed, does not constitute proper disposal.”
The company will pay a $70,000 civil penalty to the State of Kansas and will pay reimbursement for the attorney general’s investigation costs.
Schmidt said this is the second “document-dump” case involving improper disposal of paper records his office has prosecuted in recent years. In 2011, LS Management, Inc., in Wichita, the management corporation for Lone Star Steakhouse, settled similar allegations by paying a $200,000 fine. That case involved thousands of employee personnel files containing sensitive personal information.
“Identity theft is a serious national problem, including in Kansas,” Schmidt said. “The best way to address identity theft is to avoid it by properly securing personal identifying information before the identity thieves can get hold of it.”