Legislative Branch

Identity Theft

Enact legislation requiring any business that utilizes photocopy machines to destroy or otherwise completely remove all of the data stored on the harddrives currently installed in virtually every modern-day photocopier prior to selling or disposing of the machines. Although many manufacturers offer software aimed at completely deleting data from the internal storage devices for an additional fee, companies purchasing the photocopiers generally opt to save the additional money necessary to install the software. The data stored on the harddrives include sensitive information such as social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, birth records, pay stubs, government credentials, FOUO, LES, and other sensitive documents people routinely photocopy for both business and personal reasons. The data recovered from the harddrives of used copiers, usually obtained by individuals at auctions or wholesale outlets, can be used for numerous clandestine activities including identity theft, a crime that costs the U.S. government, private sector, and taxpayer trillions of dollars a year in prevention and recovery.

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Idea No. 4995