Secrets From The Sky: Parade Confetti Containing Sensitive Data Still A Mystery | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Secrets From The Sky: Parade Confetti Containing Sensitive Data Still A Mystery

Why were secrets raining from the sky during Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? Police still aren't sure.

Inspector Kenneth Lack said Monday the Nassau County Police Department is investigating how confidential records including names of police officers, license plates, and the route of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's motorcade ended up as confetti in Manhattan's annual celebration, The Chicago Tribune reports.

"I'm just completely in shock. How could someone have this kind of information, and how could it be distributed at the Thanksgiving Day Parade?" Lack said.

Eighteen-year-old Tufts University student Ethan Finkelstein, who originally reported the problem to a local television station, was also baffled when he found a Social Security number resting on a friend's coat as they stood along the parade route at 65th Street and Central Park West.

"There were full lines of text. You didn't need to piece everything together. It was right there," Finkelstein told NPR's Margot Adler. "It fell face up and said SSN and there was a number and it was written like a Social Security number."

Macy's says their confetti is commercially manufactured and not shredded documents, but notes that spectators often throw their own homemade confetti at the annual event.

The local television station that broke the story Friday, WPIX, now reports that the confetti came from a police employee who came to the parade as a spectator. Margot reports that the police department, contacted today about the new information, said the investigation was ongoing and that there would be no immediate statements.

(Jordan Teicher is an intern for NPR.org.)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

David Fincher Talks 'Gone Girl,' Avoids Spoilers (Hooray!)

The director, whose previous work includes Fight Club and The Social Network, talks to NPR's Audie Cornish about the challenges of taking Gillian Flynn's intimate drama from the page to the screen.
NPR

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

Researchers have found a gene that affects how strongly you experience bitter flavors. And those who aren't as sensitive eat about 200 more servings of vegetables per year.
NPR

Top Spending PAC Aims To Keep The Senate In Democratic Hands

Senate Majority PAC, run by allies of Senate Majority Leader Reid, is the top-spending superPAC in the midterm election season. Its donors are essentially a compilation of the party's big-donor base.
NPR

Tech Firms Chip Away At Credit Cards' Share Of Transactions

Companies including PayPal and Apple are competing to convince merchants and consumers to use their swipe-and-go mobile payment systems. Credit card breaches may speed up the use of digital wallets.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.