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Confidential Documents Used as Confetti in Thanksgiving Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Confetti
Andrew Kelly, Getty Images

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is an annual tradition in New York City complete with balloons, floats, and confetti…made from confidential documents?

Ethan Finkelstein was watching the parade in New York when he pulled a strip of confetti off a friend’s coat. He noticed the paper had the letters ‘SSN’ followed by numbers…clearly a social security number.

He told WPIX that he thought it was strange, so he and his friends started to pick up more of the confetti around them. They discovered things like addresses, phone numbers, lines from police reports, and confidential information about police officers…even something about the Romney motorcade.

The paper apparently came from the Nassau County Police Department on Long Island. The problem is that the documents were shredded horizontally instead of vertically. Scary.

A new report indicates that a police employee brought the papers to use as confetti.

It makes you wonder what happens to sensitive information when it’s out of your hands. Doctor’s offices, schools, government, stores…think of all the places that have your identity at their disposal.

It’s frightening…and to think that someone could be so careless (and downright stupid) as to use documents with sensitive information at a parade?

I hope that we have better safeguards than that here in New Jersey, but how can any of us ever really know?

Do you ever worry about someone getting access to your private information? Tell us in the comment section below.

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