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Notary Bulletin

New Jersey Proposes Bill To Prevent ID Theft Via Copy Machines

The New Jersey State Legislature is considering a bill requiring businesses to erase sensitive data stored on digital copy machines that are sold or otherwise change hands.

Assembly Bill 1238, is a response to concerns that many digital copiers store information about every document the machine has copied, scanned, faxed or e-mailed on an internal hard drive. If not disposed of, that information can be accessed and used for dishonest purposes by anyone who obtains a copy machine from a business. Signing Agents can have years of sensitive data stored in their copy machines that can be exposed when the machines are discarded, sold or upgraded.

The bill would impose fines on businesses that willfully or knowingly violate its provisions of up to $2,500 for a first offense and $5,000 for later offense. Victims would also be permitted to sue for damages if harmed by a business that fails to properly dispose of copier data.

The bill has passed the Assembly and moved to the state Senate.

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