Almost every digital copier built since 2002 has a built in hard drive that stores an image of every document scanned, copied, or emailed by the copier. Many businesses fail to clean or destroy this stored information before selling or returning their copier to a leasing company. The penalties for not doing so can be costly.
Failure to Erase Patient Data From a Copier Cost Affinity Health Plan $1.2 million.
After a CBS investigative report where they bought four used copiers from a leasing company, it was discovered contained important police information from a NY police department. The third machine contained payroll records and copies of checks from a NY construction company.
The fourth copier that was leased by Affinity Health Plan contained hundreds of pages of patient’s medical records that included blood tests and diagnoses for cancer.
An investigation by the Office of Civil Rights determined that they had disclosed the Electronic Protected Health Information for over 300,000 people. As a result of this breach of personal health information Affinity agreed to a financial settlement for $1.2 million.