Sadly, the fact that behaviours are obviously stupid doesn't stop them being common. A study of waste bins in Sydney business areas by the National Association for Information Destruction-ANZ (NAID-ANZ) found that over 10 per cent of them contained confidential documents that hadn't been shredded.
Data retrieved during the investigation included land sale documents and confidential medical information. "Some sectors did better than others," NAID CEO Robert Johnson said in a press release. "For instance, of the nine randomly sampled trash bins serving government offices, no confidential information was found. On the other hand, bank branches fared less well with 40 percent found to be casually discarding confidential financial information."
It's reassuring that the vast majority of bins weren't filled with confidential documents, but it should serve as a reminder to business: if you're going to dump it, shred it first. The same principle applies to digital data: always wipe drives or destroy them before getting rid of them.