Six Lines

Digital Copiers as Time-Bombs

Posted by Aaron Massey on 13 May 2010.

CBS News has an article and a video (below) detailing the potential security and privacy violates of digital photocopiers:

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.”

Watch CBS News Videos Online

This is an excellent example of how pervasive security and privacy concerns can be. If you take a relatively innocuous technology with clear security and privacy concerns and add one new ‘convenience’ feature, then you create a device with completely different security and privacy concerns. It takes a certain mindset to recognize security and privacy problems in this sort of situation.

(Hat Tip: Jessica Young)