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Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets

Posted in Recycling News

Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive that stores an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine. If you're in the identity theft business it seems this would be a pot of gold.

This past February, CBS News went to a warehouse in New Jersey to see how hard it would be to buy a used copier loaded with documents. It turns out ... it's pretty easy.

The results were stunning: One of the copiers was from the Buffalo, N.Y., Police Sex Crimes Division and contained detailed domestic violence complaints and a list of wanted sex offenders. On a second machine from the Buffalo Police Narcotics Unit we found a list of targets in a major drug raid.

Another machine from Affinity Health Plan, a New York insurance company, contained 300 pages of individual medical records. They included everything from drug prescriptions, to blood test results, to a cancer diagnosis. A potentially serious breach of federal privacy law.

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