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Copy Machines Could Risk HIPAA Violations

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.

January 11, 2011

American Medical News reports on the privacy concerns related to replacing office printers and photocopiers at medical facilities. Many are unaware that the devices contain hard drives storing caches of personal information. Experts suggest looking for an "overwrite" or "wiping" feature on a machine before discarding or selling and to be sure, if a machine is recycled, that the recycling plant has a plan in place for handling hard drives. A New York health plan recently had to report a HIPAA violation after discarding more than 6,000 used copiers without destroying PII stored on them. Meanwhile, a pending New Jersey law aims to protect against identity theft by requiring copy machine hard drives' destruction.
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