Company Fined For Privacy Law Violations

A national company that manages business documents has been fined nearly $500,000 for unlawfully disposing of documents containing personal information in public trash receptacles.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson approved consent judgments against SearchTec, Incorporated, for violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and the Wayne Owen Act.

Three corporate entities associated with the business were fined $484,450, and ordered to make changes in their business practices, including proper disposal of documents and employee training.

The Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division filed complaints against the entities in 2017 after documents in the custody of SearchTec were found improperly disposed of in unsecured trash receptacles in Topeka.

The documents were placed in the trash bins without shredding or removal of personal information, a violation of part of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.

Under Kansas law, businesses that collect the personal information of others have a duty to safeguard it.