[URL=http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/01/25/1411524-cp.html]Staples computer article[/URL]
Wow - I'm surprised that the woman who returned the pc didn't bother to erase any information!! BUT - I'm equally surprised [insert wry grin here] that Staples didn't bother to check to see if any info. was left behind on it.
The above posted link states the following:
Complaint sparks policy change at Staples
By BILL GRAVELAND
CALGARY (CP) - A privacy complaint involving the resale of a computer has prompted Staples Business Depot to develop a formal policy to ensure all hard drives are wiped clean before they are put back on store shelves.
"A lot of times complaints point to issues that need to be resolved and this is a perfect example of that," John Castiglione, vice-president of operations for the office supply chain, said Wednesday from Toronto "We sell thousands of computers every year and, although this is only the second time we've had a complaint, it points to a problem and so we looked at it as an opportunity."
The Alberta privacy commissioner's office received a complaint last April that a Calgary Staples store had sold a computer that contained a previous customer's personal information.
"An individual returned the computer because it was malfunctioning and she had a lot of personal information on that computer, including tax information, resumes, family information and some business information of her husband's," said Elizabeth Denham, a privacy director who oversees the Personal Information Protection Act.
"A few months later she got a call from an individual that had purchased a computer at the same store, and that second person's computer contained all of the complainant's personal information."
An investigation by the privacy office found Staples staff hadn't removed or purged the information from the initial customer before the computer was resold.
Staples (SYMBOL:NASDAQ:SPLS) usually reformats computer hard drives that are returned or defective, but there were no written policies, procedures or training directing employees to do so.
The privacy commissioner recommended Staples put the practice into formal policy. Another requirement was that serial numbers be used to track which machines had been cleaned.
"We have sort of finalized the procedure now and have made sure there are a couple of cecks and balances to make sure that nothing slips away," Castiglione said.
Staples plans to lay out its new approach to store managers at the company's annual general meeting in two weeks, he said. The new policy is to be in place at all 262 stores in Canada no later than March 1.
"If it makes sense for Alberta, then it makes sense for the rest of the country," he said.
Staples has also agreed to provide a credit-watch service for the complainant and her family in case any information was obtained by unauthorized individuals. As well, a new computer was provided to the customer who purchased the second-hand machine.
The biggest concern in today's high-tech world is identity theft, said Denham, who added the complainant was fortunate her computer was purchased by an honest individual.
"There are all kinds of identity-theft rings out there . . . and just plain old fraud that can happen when someone has access to sensitive information."
PhoneBusters, a central agency that collects information on identity theft in Canada, reports that from January to October of last year there were more than 9,000 victims of identity theft that cost $7.2 million in losses.
Jan 27th, 2006 06:56 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 22nd, 2003
Staples messes up in Alberta - Re-sells returned PC with personal info. on it
Last edited by jory29; Jan 27th, 2006 at 07:02 PM.
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Jan 27th, 2006 07:56 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 29th, 2004
So that "new" computer you buy from Staples may already be infected with viruses/spyware that the previous owner had on their system..
Personally, I would wipe the hard drive myself before returning it.. but that doesn't excuse Staples here.._______________
So long. I'm outta here.
Jan 27th, 2006 08:23 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 3rd, 2003
Well, on my point of view, i blame the managers. They put so much pressure on the employees
- meet quotas
- understaff environment.
Erasing data is the last thing on their minds. Even the certified 'techs' are pressued to sell while doing their job. What a unorginized company
Jan 27th, 2006 08:29 PM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 16th, 2004
This teaches us that some products are better purchased brand new!_______________