To assist in identifying the appropriate course of action for the disposal of personal information, California lawmakers have introduced Assembly Bill No. 1094. The issue of abandoned records has become one of growing concern for self-storage operators, who are experiencing a sharp increase in the number of units in default from businesses that store records containing consumer information.
Introduced by Assembly Member Connie Conway on Feb. 27, AB 1094 is an act to amend particular sections of the Civil Code that relate to personal information. The existing law requires that a business take all reasonable steps to destroy, or arrange for the destruction of, any customer’s records within its custody or control that it no longer intends to retain. Destruction can be achieved by shredding or erasing the information, or otherwise making it unreadable or undecipherable. AB 1094 requires that a business dispose of, or arrange for the disposal of, any individual’s records via these same methods.
In addition, the bill changes the punishment for violation of the provision. In the original code, a violation calls for “specified civil remedies.” The new bill calls for a violation to be punishable as a misdemeanor, imposing a state-mandated program.