Texas Business & Commerce Code - Section 35.48. Retention And Disposal Of Business Records
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§ 35.48. RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF BUSINESS RECORDS. (a) In this section: (1) "Business record" means letters, words, sounds, or numbers, or the equivalent of letters, words, sounds, or numbers, recorded in the operation of a business by: (A) handwriting; (B) typewriting; (C) printing; (D) photostat; (E) photograph; (F) magnetic impulse; (G) mechanical or electronic recording; (H) digitized optical image; or (I) another form of data compilation. (1-a) "Personal identifying information" means an individual's first name or initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following items: (A) date of birth; (B) social security number or other government-issued identification number; (C) mother's maiden name; (D) unique biometric data, including the individual's fingerprint, voice print, and retina or iris image; (E) unique electronic identification number, address, or routing code; (F) telecommunication access device, including debit and credit card information; or (G) financial institution account number or any other financial information. (2) "Reproduction" means a counterpart of an original business record produced by: (A) production from the same impression or the same matrix as the original; (B) photograph, including an enlargement or miniature; (C) mechanical or electronic rerecording; (D) chemical reproduction; (E) digitized optical image; or (F) another technique that accurately reproduces the original. (3) "Telecommunication access device" has the meaning assigned by Section 32.51, Penal Code. (b) A business record required to be kept by state law may be destroyed at any time after the third anniversary of the date the record was created unless a law or regulation applicable to the business record prescribes a different retention period or procedure for disposal. (c) A state law requiring retention of a business record is satisfied by retention of a reproduction of the business record. (d) When a business disposes of a business record that contains personal identifying information of a customer of the business, the business shall modify, by shredding, erasing, or other means, the personal identifying information to make it unreadable or undecipherable. (e) A business is considered to comply with Subsection (d) if the business contracts with a person engaged in the business of disposing of records for the modification of personal identifying information on behalf of the business in accordance with Subsection (d). (f) A business that does not dispose of a business record of a customer in the manner required by Subsection (d) is liable for a civil penalty of up to $500 for each record. The attorney general may bring an action against the business to: (1) recover the civil penalty; (2) obtain any other remedy, including injunctive relief; and (3) recover costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in bringing the action. (g) A business that modifies a record as required by Subsection (d) in good faith is not liable for a civil penalty under Subsection (f) if the record is reconstructed, in whole or in part, through extraordinary means. (h) Subsection (d) does not require a business to modify a record if: (1) the business is required to retain the record under other law; or (2) the record is historically significant and: (A) there is no potential for identity theft or fraud while the record is in the custody of the business; or (B) the record is transferred to a professionally managed historical repository. (i) Subsection (d) does not apply to: (1) a financial institution as defined by 15 U.S.C. Section 6809; or (2) a covered entity as defined by Section 601.001 or 602.001, Insurance Code. Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 955, § 1, eff. June 15, 1989. Renumbered from § 35.47 by Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 12, § 2(2), eff. Sept. 6, 1990. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 472, § 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 735, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 935, § 1 to 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.
Last modified: August 11, 2007