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I read this over at CBS News.

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I wonder if FedEx/Kinkos erases their hard drives when they sell them. – Stefan Lasiewski Jun 3 '10 at 22:46
@Stefan Highly doubtful. There's no economic incentive for them to do so (unless you consider lawsuits that could occur after data is misused). – Michael Todd Jun 3 '10 at 22:56
And I always assumed that photocopiers used encryption, or that the stored documents had a limited life. I guess it's been a while since I maintained photocopiers and fax machines. – Stefan Lasiewski Jun 3 '10 at 22:56
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Almost all photocopiers have storage of some sort, and in IT security, this is a major issue. All IT security shops will tell you to trash/destroy the hard disk before getting rid of a photocopier, or even sending it for maintenance. Some companies such as Canon are telling everyone that their photocopiers, which use hard disks have built-in file overwriting systems that are military-grade.

This is true regardless of whether a photocopier has or has no network port. Today's photocopiers are mainly a scanner coupled with some graphic engine for graphics effects or transformation and a laser printer. If you are printing sensitive content, be careful where you photocopy it.


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As it says in the article:

Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive - like the one on your personal computer - storing an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine.

I would think the Golden Rule here is: if the machine at hand has an ethernet port, use another one to Xerox you passport or any private part of your body.

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+1 for "any private part of your body" hahah – leeand00 Jun 4 '10 at 13:02

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