Do you have a home shreader to destroy sensitive documents? Maybe it cuts them into long strips or maybe even it is a cross-cut shreader. Either way, what many people don’t know is that those pieces of paper can be put back together again just like Humpty Dumpty.  A recent NYTimes article describes just how it’s done along with a company that offers it as a service to law enforcement and law firms.

Advanced scanning technology makes it possible to reconstruct documents previously thought safe from prying eyes, sometimes even pages that have been ripped into confetti-size pieces. And although a great deal of sensitive information is stored digitally these days, recent corporate scandals have shown that the paper shredder is still very much in use.

”People perceive it as an almost perfect device,” said Jack Brassil, a researcher for Hewlett-Packard who has worked on making shredded documents traceable. If people put a document through a shredder, ”they assume that it’s fundamentally unrecoverable,” he said. ”And that’s clearly not true.”

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