Boston’s WBZ38 News has a story about copy machines and privacy:
“Copy machines today are just like computers,” explained Boston security expert Robert Siciliano. “They have hard drives and can store data that can be extracted.” […]
There are massive warehouses across the country filled with hundreds if not thousands of used copiers that are up for sale. Companies are supposed to wipe the hard drives clean, but that does not always happen.
Security expert John Juntunen demonstrated how easy it is to access that information. Like any other buyer can do, Juntunen easily connected his laptop to a copy machine. Almost instantly, he is able to download or print whatever is on the hard drive.
He found a child support document and an IRA application for a woman named Marilynn Boyd. Boyd’s husband was stunned by what Juntunen found. “They have the address. They have the social security number. They have the date of birth. It’s ridiculous,” he said.
Juntunen found names and addresses on the hard drive of another used computer. Among the list of names was Caroline Kennedy along with her home and work phone number. In a statement, a spokesperson for Kennedy said she was surprised by the findings and was not aware of the potential danger. […]
Many newer copiers now have security systems that help combat this problem, but that doesn’t alleviate the issue for thousands of used copiers that are currently for sale.