The confetti used during this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City turned out to be more than just colorful pieces of paper. Parade spectators on the Upper West Side examined the "confetti" and found it was actually shredded documents with confidential information from Nassau County Police Department.
The documents included names of police officers, their Social Security numbers, information about criminal incidents and even the details of a Mitt Romney motorcade, likely related to his appearance at the presidential debate held last month at Hofstra University, located in Nassau County.
Macy's claims it used commercially-produced confetti during the parade, and it is possible the shredded documents were thrown from a balcony on the parade route. The confetti was discovered by two college students, who saw "SSN" and found license plate and telephone numbers when examining the papers, according to the Daily Telegraph.
"The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation. We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents," said Inspector Ken Lack from the Nassau County Police Department to the news source.
Regardless of whether an office's documents are confidential or not, the lack of security surrounding paper documents means information can be stolen, destroyed or seen by the wrong person. Between password protections and other security tools, digital documents can have an extra layer of security that shredding documents does not provide, as seen by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade incident. For any business that wants to go paperless, bulk scanning services can ensure no company's documents end up in the wrong hands.