New Jersey Assembly passes bill requiring deletion of copier data

The bill would require manufacturers of digital copiers to include instructions with each copier explaining how to destroy or arrange for the destruction of the records stored on that machine
The bill would require manufacturers of digital copiers to include instructions with each copier explaining how to destroy or arrange for the destruction of the records stored on that machine

The legislation, which passed the Assembly by a vote of 51-28, would require that “a person destroy, or arrange for the destruction of, all records stored on a digital copy machine, which is no longer to be retained by that person, by erasing or otherwise modifying those records to make the records unreadable, undecipherable, or nonreconstructable through generally available means.”

The bill provides that both the lessor and lessee of a digital copier are responsible for the destruction, or arranging for the destruction, of all records stored on that machine.

The fee a lessor can charge a lessee for the destruction, or arranging for the destruction, of the records cannot exceed one week's value of the lease, up to $100, and may only be charged if the lessee has not destroyed or arranged for the destruction of the records.

The bill would require manufacturers of digital copiers to include instructions with each copier explaining how to destroy or arrange for the destruction of the records stored on that machine.

A violation of the bill would carry a penalty of up to $2,500 for the first offense and up to $5,000 for the second and each subsequent offense.

"Most digital copy machines use internal hard drives, which store every document that has been scanned, printed, faxed or emailed by the machines, many times numbering in the tens of thousands by the time a copier is resold or returned at the end of a lease agreement", explained state law maker Paul Moriarty, who was one of the bill’s sponsors. "According to news reports, most businesses do not erase the hard drive on a copier before getting rid of it, putting the highly sensitive information of millions of consumers at serious risk of theft", he added.

The bill now goes to the New Jersey Senate for consideration.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?