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

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

For The Midterm Elections, A Book On 'What It Takes' To Win

The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Writer Michael Schaub recommends a book that explores what it's like to run for office and live through all the dramatic ups and downs.
NPR

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

In this week's roundup, Apple rolls out its mobile payment system but confronts a security test in China, the problem with voice mail messages and Mark Zuckerberg shows off his Mandarin.

Leave a Comment

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