FTC Releases Copy Machine Security Tips

Copy machines security FTC
Copy machines security FTC
The Federal Trade Commission today published a tip sheet called "Copier Data Security: A Guide for Businesses"  seven months after Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) called for the agency to investigate the risks to data security posed by digital copy machines.

In our investigation in April, CBS News reported that nearly 60 percent of the American public is unaware that most office copiers have hard drives in them that save every fax, email and print to the machine. 

As we found, those machines are often resold on the "used" market filled with the personal information and sensitive documents of the previous owners.

(Watch Armen Keteyian's original report below)

In a response to Markey in May, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said he was also, "concerned that personal information can be so easily retrieved from copiers." 

He said the FTC was, "now reaching out to copier manufacturers, resellers and retail copy and office supply stores to ensure that they are aware of the privacy risks associated with digital copiers and to determine whether they are warning their customers about the risks..."

The result of that action is today's "Tips".

In a statement to CBS News today, Markey said "After CBS first broke this story in April, I sent the FTC a letter calling on the agency to investigate the issue and provide consumers with additional information about the privacy risks associated with the use of digital copiers and what consumers can do to reduce these risks. I am pleased that the FTC has responded with this useful educational piece so that businesses can better ensure that any personal information is wiped clean before a copier moves on to the next user."

More Copy Machine Reporting:

NJ State Lawmakers Introduce Copy Machine Law

Photocopier Fallout: Congress, FTC "Concerned"

CBS News Investigation into Photocopiers Raises Questions in Buffalo