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Staples Fails to Wipe Returned Hard Drives, Privacy Commissioner Finds

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June 21, 2011- Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart just released a report demonstrating that more than one-third of resale storage devices still contained customer data despite having gone through Staples’ wipe and restore process. Some of the data found on the devices included social insurance numbers, banking and credit card information, and other information. Staples received consumer complaints because of similar issues between 2004 and 2008.

“So you would think the messaging would have gotten through (to Staples),” Stoddart said. “This is not an encouraging tale about how a major corporation implements Canada’s privacy legislation.”

Stoddart said she is hopeful Staples will completely rectify the data wiping issue within a year, but said if it does not the next steps would be an investigation by her office. If that was not dealt with to her satisfaction, her office could take Staples Canada to Federal Court for violating customer privacy.

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