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Kansas AG Secures Settlement For Alleged Unlawful Data Disposal

  • Kansas AG Derek Schmidt reached a settlement agreement with ST2, Inc., d/b/a SearchTec, Inc. (“SearchTec”), and related entities to resolve allegations that the reporting service unlawfully disposed of documents containing personal information in unsecured trash receptacles in violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (“KCPA”) and the Wayne Owen Act (“WOA”).
  • According to the Complaint, SearchTec, which handles and processes customer records containing personal information, repeatedly disposed of records containing personal information in various unsecured waste receptacles owned by other entities without first shredding or removing personal information. The Complaint alleges SearchTec’s actions failed to comply with the legal obligations imposed by the WOA, including requirements that companies implement and maintain reasonable procedures and exercise reasonable care to protect personal information from unauthorized access and destroy records containing personal information when the records are no longer needed.
  • Under the terms of the Consent Judgment, SearchTec must pay $144,450 in civil penalties and $5,550 in investigative fees and expenses. SearchTec is also required to maintain corporate policies on confidentiality and the protection of data and information security, provide documented employee training on the proper handling of personal information, and annually evaluate is information security programs, among other things.
  • According to the AG’s Office, the AG also reached a settlement agreement with two corporate entities associated with SearchTec. The companies were collectively fined $484,450.