Security Corner

May 29 2010   1:39PM GMT

FTC Investigates Photocopier Data Security Risks

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

My April 26, 2010 post, “Security Risk of Digital Copiers,” I reported on the issue of permanent storage of images on copier hard drives and the potentially serious security risks associated. Now the FTC is getting involved.

Representative Edward J Markey (D-Mass), who first raised the issue with the FTC in April, said, “Many of these machines do not just copy sensitive documents; they store them as well, providing a treasure trove for identity thieves. In short, these machines are not merely document copiers, they are document keepers.

“I am very pleased to learn that the FTC is investigating this important matter, which most consumers are unaware of when they place their tax returns, financial records and other personal information on the copier and hit the ‘Start’ button.”

In a letter to Markey, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz ensured that government data is safe: “With respect to government agencies, our own practice is to acquire ownership of the hard drives in the digital copiers we lease, and to erase and subsequently destroy these hard drives when the copiers are returned.”

Liebowitz also said that the FTC will work with manufacturers and vendors to educate customers of the security risks involved and promised to update FTC consumer and business educational materials.

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  • Kerrymulder
    Excellent post and very appropriate. For 90% of our customers the number one priority is IT security when purchasing a second hand machine or when selling on their existing photocopier.
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