Conn. AG shares concerns with Staples

Bryan Cohen Jul. 1, 2011, 1:37pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen sent a letter to Staples Inc. on Thursday over security concerns about used and refurbished products sold by Staples Canada Inc.

A recently released audit by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that more than one-third of the used and refurbished products sold by Staples Canada Inc. tested still held private customer information from previous owners.

"The results of the audit raise concerns about used or refurbished devices Staples, Inc. may be selling in the United States, and more specifically in Connecticut," Jepsen said.

The audit by the OPPC found that data storage devices contained information, including passport numbers, personal correspondence, social insurance numbers, which are similar to Social Security numbers in the United States, employment information, tax records, driver's license numbers and academic transcripts.

In addition, the audit discovered the sales packaging falsely claimed that the store had verified that the data storage devices had been wiped clean.

Jepsen requested that the company answer a set of security questions within 10 days of the receipt of the letter.

"It is critically important that used and refurbished products are scrubbed of any personal information by previous owners," Jepsen said. "I have raised concerns with Staples and hope to have a cooperative dialogue with its representatives."

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