Report Claims Confidential Police Info Used As Confetti At Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

from the oops dept

Mathew Ingram points us to the somewhat stunning claim that, during the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade last week, some of the confetti showered down on viewers in Manhattan was poorly shredded documents from the Nassau County police department (for those not from the area, Nassau County is not in NYC, but right next to it on Long Island).

“There are phone numbers, addresses, more social security numbers, license plate numbers and then we find all these incident reports from police.”

One confetti strip indicates that it’s from an arrest record, and other strips offer more detail. “This is really shocking,” Finkelstein said. “It says, ‘At 4:30 A.M. a pipe bomb was thrown at a house in the Kings Grant’ area.”

Apparently there was also some info about Mitt Romney’s motorcade for the last presidential debate that took place at Hofstra University (in Nassau County). And worse:

Most significant, the confetti strips identified Nassau County detectives by name. Some of them are apparently undercover. Their social security numbers, dates of birth and other highly sensitive personal information was also printed on the confetti strips.

The story sounds so bizarre that I’m wondering if it’s really true, or if it’s just someone messing with the press. But, of course, it’s entirely possible. You’d just hope that modern police agencies were smarter than that.

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Companies: macy's

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Comments on “Report Claims Confidential Police Info Used As Confetti At Macy's Thanksgiving Parade”

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

With any kind of half decent shredder (ie crosscut) it doesn’t matter what way you put the paper in, it’s cut into tiny little pieces that would be a nightmare to put together even if you had all of them in one place, and don’t hold more than a couple of characters on a piece. The incompetence of using a shredder that only cuts into strips (don’t know what the term is) for law enforcement documents is amazing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ya know - it could be a plant

What is to stop someone who had electronic access to records they wanted “the public” to become aware of deciding to print out the records, shred them, then distribute at the parade?

It might even move said holder of the electronic version beyond the ability for the detectives to find them. So long as they didn’t use a printer with the dot patterns in the paper…..

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