At a warehouse in New Jersey, 6,000 used copy machines sit ready to be sold. CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports almost every one of them holds a secret.
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.
In the process, it’s turned an office staple into a digital time-bomb packed with highly-personal or sensitive data.
If you’re in the identity theft business it seems this would be a pot of gold.
“The type of information we see on these machines with the social security numbers, birth certificates, bank records, income tax forms,” John Juntunen said, “that information would be very valuable.”
All the major manufacturers offer security or encryption packages on their products. One product from Sharp automatically erases an image from the hard drive. It costs $500.
But evidence keeps piling up in warehouses that many businesses are unwilling to pay for such protection, and that the average American is completely unaware of the dangers posed by digital copiers.
…watch this short but shocking report: