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Blockbuster Store Closings Create Privacy Concerns

Beth Givens with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse was recently walking by a Blockbuster store in Mission Valley, San Diego which happened to be closing down. Outside of the store, Givens found a box of case files that contained Blockbuster employee records, such as job applications and detailed employment termination documents. The documents contained private information such as social security numbers, full names, etc. There are probably signatures and birthdays too. This could be a gold mine for an identity thief or a wonderful supply of embarrassing employment information.

Luckily, Givens found the employee files before a criminal found them. Givens plans to return the files to Blockbuster, and it appears no harm was done in this case, but this incident should sound an alarm.

Blockbuster stores are closing all over the country. With Dish Network taking over, many more Blockbusters are likely to be closing later this year. If Blockbuster is mishandling files from abandoned stores, not only are the employees at risk, but so are the customers.

When you opened that Blockbuster account years and years ago, do you remember exactly what information you put on the account application form? Where is that form now? Could an identity thief use that form to steal your identity? What about your rental records, credit card information, address, etc.? What is Blockbuster doing to make sure this information is not going to fall into the wrong hands?

With all of these stores closing, Blockbuster/Dish Network needs to get on top of this issue. When people trust a company with their privacy, that company has a duty to protect the information of its customers.

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