Go here. Read this. Now.
Apparently, damned near every digital copy machine made since the early 2000's has an internal hard-drive on board. This hard-drive stores an image of -- according to the video -- at least the last twenty thousand copies made on that machine.
Now this, in and of itself, is worrisome, but what is scary is that most of these machines are leased, and when the lease is up, the copy machine is returned to the company -- hard-drive intact.
In the video embedded in the story at Peter's blog, four machine purchased at random from a supply house turned out to belong to the Buffalo, New York Police Sex Crimes Unit; the Buffalo PD Narcotics Unit; a New York construction company; and last, but certainly not least: a New York health insurance company -- which yielded 300 individual medical records.
These hard-drives and the images contained therein are available to anyone with $300 bucks to buy a used copy machine, a screwdriver, and a free copy of forensic software downloaded from the Internet.
Think about it: every time an employer has scanned a copy of your driver's licence and your Social Security card -- it's stored on that hard-drive.
Every time a secretary has copied your medical file -- it's stored on that hard-drive.
Every memo or report containing your name, every copied cheque, every copied bill, every copied personnel file -- if the people, firm or company doing the copying don't wipe that hard-drive when the lease is up, any Joe Critter with a high-school computer class and some loose dosh can get access to those records.
Bring this to people's attention.
Grateful tip of the Stetson to Peter, over at Bayou Renaissance Man.