Published November 25, 2012
New York police are investigating claims that shredded paper used as confetti during Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade revealed sensitive data – including Social Security numbers and bank account information, MyFoxNY.com reported.
Nassau County Police officers are looking into the matter after college student Ethan Finkelstein reported the confetti falling on his shoulders as he watched the parade contained Social Security numbers, employee identification numbers, bank account numbers, as well as pieces of a police incident report.
"There were thousands of pieces of white confetti paper all around us. We just picked up a handful and started going through it and we noticed there were more Social Security numbers, more address and phone numbers," Finkelstein said, MyFoxNY.com reported.
Finkelstein, 18, who was home from Tufts University on Thanksgiving break, said he was watching the parade at 65th Street and Central Park West when he and a friend noticed a strip of confetti stuck onto her coat.
"It landed on her shoulder," Finkelstein told PIX11 News, "and it says 'SSN' and it's written like a Social Security number, and we're like, 'That's really bizarre.'
"There are phone numbers, addresses, more Social Security numbers, license plate numbers and then we find all these incident reports from police."
According to WPIX, one confetti strip indicates that it's from an arrest record, and other strips offer more detail. "This is really shocking," Finkelstein told the station. "It says, 'At 4:30 A.M. a pipe bomb was thrown at a house in the Kings Grant' area."
The Nassau County Police Department told PIX11, via a written statement from its commanding officer for public information, Inspector Kenneth Lack, "The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation. We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents."
Parade sponsor Macy’s told the station that it uses "commercially manufactured, multicolor confetti, not shredded paper."
The NYPD says it would assist in the investigation if needed, according to MyFoxNY.com.