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Every digital copier machine made since 2002 contains a hard
drive just like your computer. Before the federal government
sells a used computer, they scrub the hard drive. When they
sell an old copier, they don't. On this video you will see copiers
containing thousands of pay statements complete with the
names and social security numbers of all city employees.

First, most people don't know that digital copiers contain a hard drive. The new Sharp digital copiers contain an option where, for $500 more, you can add a "scrubber" that cleans the hard drive after the copy is made. But as CBS found in this report by examining the hard drives of old copiers sitting in warehouses waiting to be resold (usually to buyers overseas) few businesses are apparently willing to pay the additional charge to scrub the images. Shown in this report are copiers—about 6,000 copying machines—are being loaded into two shipping containers that will be loaded into a ship and sent overseas. One of these shipping containers will be sent to unknown buyers in Argentina, the other to buyers in Singapore. To identity thieves, the data on the hard drive of the copiers are worth a thousand to a million times the price paid for the old copiers which, theoretically, are cleaned up and sold to businesses in the emerging nations.

Most Americans today shred their mail before throwing it in the trash to protect themselves about the accidental loss of personal information that will help someone steal your identity. Yet those we do business with are storing that personal information on their copying machines whenever they make a photo copy of the check you use to pay your bills, or copy your payroll records at work. That information, from a myriad of sources, becomes a time bomb waiting to explode when the new buyer of an old copier finds the hard drive and retrieves reams of data that identity thieves will pay a small fortune to get.

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved
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