Comstock & Associates takes the privacy of our clients seriously. All papers leaving our office are ground into tiny pieces using heavy-duty paper shredders. Also, we never discuss client matters outside the office.

Security is a serious concern in today's environment. Clients should insist that their privacy be maintained.

Privacy statues were enacted to force companies to control the unauthorized flow of information. Two laws went into effect on January 1, 2001 that impacts the way all California businesses treat customers and client information.

Assembly Bill (AB 2246) requires businesses to take reasonable steps to destroy, or arrange for the destruction of customer records that contain personal information before the records are discarded. Personal information includes anything that identifies, relates to, describes or is capable of being associated with a particular individual. The definition includes but is not limited to, name, signature, social security number, physical characteristics, or description, address, telephone number, passport number, drivers license or state I.D. number, insurance policy number, education, employment, employment history, bank account, credit card, or debit card numbers or any other financial information.

This law applies to electronic records, documents or recordings of personal information. The requirement applies to every business in California. Failure to comply could result in civil liability including actual damages. Directories where individuals have voluntarily consented to distribution of names, addresses and phone numbers are exempt.

SB 1724 expands the misdemeanor prohibition related to disclosure of tax return information by those in the business of preparing tax returns unless the taxpayer consents to disclosure in a separate document that states to whom the disclosure will be made and how the information will be used.

SB 1724 also prohibits any individual or business, including financial institutions that obtain tax return information for any purpose, from disclosing any part of that information or using it for any unrelated use unless the following apply:

  1. The taxpayer agrees in writing or via electronic means to disclose their information.
  2. The disclosure is required to complete the transaction for which it was furnished.
  3. To obey a court order.
  4. The disclosure is authorized or required by federal law.
  5. To prevent fraud.

Privacy is a serious matter and in today's environment it is critical that every step is taken to ensure privacy. Comstock & Associates goes above and beyond the law to secure and destroy records.

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