There are many different reasons why companies choose to destroy documents regularly. Quite often it is a cost issue, as the cost of filing or storing many documents over the long term can add up. Sometimes it is a matter of protecting secrets within the organization, such as within companies that specialize in product development. In other cases, someone might use a records management Philadelphia company to destroy their documents in order to reduce future potential liability.
Liability can be reduced by shredding in more than one way. The most important thing to realize, though, is that the private information of individuals always remains their property, no matter who else they have provided it to. Most of the liability that you are trying to protect against by instilling a shredding procedure is connected to the various protections of privacy laws.
Companies generally come into contact with a great deal of information which belongs to private individuals. In the case of any company that is selling a product or service, they often obtain information which belongs to their customers. This information, even if provided to them voluntarily by their customers, is still not theirs to do with as they please. If private information belonging to a customer was to be exposed to the wrong people, that customer could sue the company that released it.
The same goes for employee information (and prospective employee). The credit and background checks have become a common part of the hiring process for many larger companies today. The problem with this is that the information that is obtained during those checks is private and must be protected. Again, employees could sue should that information be released without authorization.
In some industries there are even specific laws which govern the protection of privacy of those using the services provided by companies. Health care is the most obvious of these. Anyone that visits a health care facility of any kind is going to end up with a lot of information about themselves down on paper. Everything from billing and insurance information to test results is going to be documented somewhere during the course of that treatment. In order to eliminate liability, these facilities are required by HIPAA to destroy all documents of this type eventually. This is why every health care practice in the country will have the services of a professional document management company on hand in some fashion.