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Who knew? Copiers have hard drives that store scanned images.

Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010, at 4:40 PM

I guess I never thought about it. Have you? Some of you techies might realize this but how many of us think the image is scanned, transferred and then gone?

While our company only does document (paper) destruction at the moment, we get news as a member of NAID (National Association of Information Destruction and they pointed this out a few days ago.

A report from CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/1... goes into much better detail but "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."

If the scanner is attached to a computer, we can think it through that the document would be on the computer hard drive, but I think I would find out TODAY if there is a hard rive on my scanner too, since it is a copier as well!

In fact, I am going to the manufacturer's website right after I post this blog. We copy our tax returns, driver's license etc. and it never dawned on me that when I throw out the old scanners, I could be putting our information out for anyone to misuse.

That seems important enough to put in manufacturer's literature. They warn me not to use the scanner while taking a shower so why not tell me about a hard drive with private information.


Comments
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good point.. i don't know if the older ones have the harddrives i don't think so, just the newer type combo printers.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Wed, Apr 28, 2010, at 4:52 PM

Most multifunctional copiers have hard drives within them. These would be the large self standing units that are capable sending and receiving documents from a variety of sources such as fax, direct scan, email, or direct print from the internet.

While it is entirely possible to have a hard drive in a smaller table top fax and or copier I would say it is less common.

If you really want to be scared, it is possible to extract data off of the memory chips of a unit as well.

Nothing is 100% secure.

-- Posted by Average_Joe on Thu, Apr 29, 2010, at 10:31 AM

I know ours have memory chips but I have not found mention of a hard drive, yet.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Apr 29, 2010, at 12:27 PM

I would also check for computer printers. Especially the all-in-ones. They usally have memory cards that you can remove. But some of the older models had drivers in them.

-- Posted by mtsufan on Thu, Apr 29, 2010, at 12:56 PM

I don't donate or recycle any computer equipment. You just can't be too careful. I find a 55 gallon drum and a gallon of Diesel Fuel make a good incinerator. I usually try to be "Green" but that's one exception.

-- Posted by MyMrMarty on Thu, Apr 29, 2010, at 5:15 PM

There are companies that actually take circuit board and melt them down to their raw materials to sell as scrap. If I had the money and the facility, I would love to do that.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Apr 29, 2010, at 10:00 PM

The circuit boards are one reason we are not in the business of destructing these, yet. The material is considered hazardous waste. Our closest outlets are Birmingham and Somewhere in North Carolina.

If you ever get that operation going, be sure to let me know.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 9:38 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.