Uh-Oh, Your Company’s Copier Is Doing More Than Just Copying

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I just learned that every copier built after 2002 has a hard drive that stores a record of every single piece of paper copied on the machine. This means that when the copier is relinquished by a company so that it can be sold as a used machine to another company, all of the information that has been copied by users of the machine at the original company is available as a record to the purchaser of the machine—information like medical records, police reports, etc. Uh-oh.

[Thanks to Mark Fee]

UPDATE: Jerry Klaes writes:

“I just read your post regarding the hard drive on copiers. I work in the data storage industry, and can assure you that the copiers built in 2002 do not have enough storage space to keep an image of every copy made. They may keep a record (which would record dates, times, # of copies, etc.). But even with today’s incredibly large HDDs, it would be almost unimaginable to have a modern day copier keep an image of each copy made. There are other ways to do this, but it would take some work on the part of the installer or owner of the device.”

Though another LRC reader wrote to tell me the same thing as Jerry, Jim Diehl found this article which supports my original post. You’ll have to make up your own mind as to which claim is correct.

12:03 pm on May 7, 2010
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