‘In case I go missing’ binders keep going viral among true-crime fans, who advocate for storing DNA and personal information ‘just in case’

Examples of fingerprints.

TikTok videos featuring binders designed to store DNA, fingerprints, and other personal information have received millions of views.Getty Images, Douglas Sacha

  • A binder filled with DNA and personal details “in case I go missing” has gone viral on TikTok.

  • The idea originates from a popular true-crime podcast, but it has faced criticism from audiences.

  • Law enforcement say it could be useful, but the risks may outweigh the potential benefits.

On December 14, 2022, the TikTok account for a brand called Savor, which sells organization and storage products, uploaded a video of a person thumbing through a folder sold by the brand. A voiceover said it was filled with items intended to be used in case the person went missing, including a hair sample, a set of fingerprints, and a list of people police should question.

The folder used is sold on Savor’s website as the “In Case I Go Missing” binder, priced at $46.95.

Savor’s clip quickly went viral, receiving over 10 million views and thousands of comments. Some encouraged the idea and gave advice on additional items they thought belonged in the binder.

In a series of follow-up videos, @Savor.It.All responded to the advice from comments, adding a cheek swab and an updated hair sample.

Jennifer McAllister-Nevins, the 52-year-old founder and co-CEO of Savor, told Insider in an email statement that when her father was in hospital she was asked what medication he took, and she didn’t know the answer. The brand developed the “Family Emergency Collection,” which the binder is part of, to help people be “prepared for any situation,” she said.

But a lot of viewers were critical of the concept, suggesting it was playing off irrational fears, romanticizing the idea of being a crime victim, and offering counterproductive advice. A number of users stitched

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Role of employees in data protection

Many organisations, in preparation for the commencement of the Protection of Personal Information Act No 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”), have commissioned and drafted world-class organizational data protection policies and implemented POPIA compliance programs to ensure compliance with POPIA on 1 July 2021. Now that the dust has settled and some time has passed, organizations should remember that without ongoing employee training and awareness, the positive impact and effectiveness of these data protection policies and programs remain limited, or worse, non-existent. As a result, there is a real risk that organizations may be at risk of suffering a security compromise (ie data breaches) and/or be at risk of non-compliance with the principles for legal processing under POPIA.

One of the requirements under POPIA is to establish adequate technical and operation measures for the protection of personal information. It is well understood that the operational measures implemented in the organization must be adhered to by employees.

While “data protection” may not be in everyone’s job title, each employee must be aware of their specific role in ensuring personal information is processed by an organization, and in particular by themselves, is secure and legally processed. Even though we may associate legal, information technology, compliance and human resources roles more with the duties relating to data protection, in truth, most data processing activities occur in the day-to-day operations of an organisation, which are in effect managed and conducted by all employees. In other words, employees are at the coalface of data protection in an organization.

What qualifies as sufficient employee training?

It is likely that organizations will have provided initial training to their employees on their compliance obligations, the organization’s obligations under POPIA, the organization’s data protection policies and the organization’s applicable POPIA compliance programme. It must be remembered that it takes

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