Data protection: using leased copy machines

Article by Dr. Sebastian Kraska (attorney at law, external Data Protection Officer).

Modern copy machines use hard drives for the intermediary storage of copied documents. Copy machines (usually) do not automatically delete the data on these hard drives. That means: The scanned data from the documents copied by the machine can be found on the copy machine’s hard drive. Please read the following 3-point list of measures, which companies should heed to safeguard their data.


Please be aware that when you return a leased copy machine (and also when you dispose of one you own), it is currently the case that sensitive documents leave the company.


In the meantime (for a surcharge), most copy machine manufacturers offer what is called a Data Security Kit, which uses a data protection encryption algorithm to securely overwrite any files that remain on the hard drive.


Copy machines should not be used that are made by manufacturers that use hard drives for the intermediary storage of scanned files and do not ensure that the data can be securely deleted.


My recommendation is that Data Security Kits be installed on leased copy machines. The company also needs to dispose of its own copy machines in a manner that is appropriate for data protection, in order to protect company documents from unauthorized access.

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