FTC – Photocopier Hard Drives
May 27, 2010

Photocopied Bottom Butt Bum

Update to this blog post:

Serious Photocopier Security Risk – April 30, 2010

FTC gets to the bottom of photocopier hard-drives – The barefaced cheek is not just for Christmas | TechEye.

Those photocopies of your bottom, which you thought would be an original and funny statement of the contents of your soul during the office Christmas party, have started to worry the US Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC is worried that the pictures at the bottom end of the market are being stored on the photocopier’s hard drive and could be used to make an ass of you.

At the moment it is just happy with issuing a warning that if you photocopy your butt on a modern copier, it’s probably still there, but it might be forced to do something about it in the future.

Modern copiers store the image on the copier’s hard drive, along with medical forms, financial documents, and all your company secrets.

Once the copiers are resold or their lease expires it is possible to lift it out and use the information.

CBS got its paws on one of these hard-drives and found “a list of targets in a major drug raid” from the Buffalo Police Narcotics Unit. It also scored Social Security numbers, medical documents, and “$40,000 in copied cheques.”

The Chairman of the FTC, Jon Leibowitz, said his agency is taking the matter quite seriously. After all, there might be a hairy posture view of Leibowitz or any one else in the FTC hanging on a notice board of the Chinese secret service, causing much mirth.

According to Leibowitz, the FTC is 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 these risks.

“We will work with these entities to help ensure that they provide appropriate educational materials on the subject to their clients,” he said.

The FTC said it avoids the problem internally by signing lease agreements that give the agency full ownership of the hard drives inside the copiers.

When the lease is up, the FTC will “erase and subsequently destroy these hard drives” before returning the copiers.

I have a question; Why did it take almost 9 years for the media and now Government to catch onto this security threat? Warnings were given back in 2001, and fell on deaf ears. What gives?

See:
August 31, 2001 issue of CRN
IT Administrators May Be Overlooking Copier/Printer Security Risks