Montana Schools Get Computers With No Data Left Behind

from the security-breach-buffet dept

Every once in a while you hear about people finding lots of interesting information on used computers. The previous owner either doesn’t bother to clean the hard drive or doesn’t do a very good job of it, leading to a sort of unintended information recycling program. This time the story comes with a government twist: A legislative audit in Montana found that state agencies have not been ridding citizens’ personal information from computers before donating or selling them outside the agencies, exposing credit card numbers, medical records, income tax documents, and the like to a huge public audience. The audit and the state have focused on the lack of a “policy” for scrubbing computers before turning them over, but what was really missing was common sense. If you have to create a policy for obvious operating procedures like scrubbing sensitive data off old computers, then you probably have more security problems than any government audit will ever find.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...