The FSA has warned that digital photocopiers pose a data security risk if financial services firms fail to properly erase stored information when the machines are replaced.
In its latest financial crime newsletter, the FSA says since 2002, most digital photocopiers have been fitted with a hard disk that saves the details of documents and information that has been put through the machine.
The regulator says that as inf-ormation could include clients’ personal details, it is essential that the data is erased when photocopiers are replaced.
In April 2008, the FSA published a report on data security in financial services which outlines best practice procedures for the disposal of hardware.
The FSA warns: “Firms need to include digital photocopiers in the devices which require concern when disposing of hardware. Getting data protection wrong can bring commercial, reputational, regulatory and legal penalties.”
Paladin Financial Services managing director Tim Purdon says : “I did not know there were hard disks inside photocopiers and I think many IFAs may also be unaware of this.
“This is a timely warning for us all. I would encourage IFAs to check their equipment and make sure that if their machine has a hard disk, it is erased properly.”