In a rising trend, states across the country are enacting and considering legislation addressing the privacy risks associated with digital office equipment like copiers, hard drives and even smartphones.
On April 1, a law took effect in New York mandating that manufacturers of electronic equipment with hard drives capable of storing personal information or other confidential data establish an electronic waste program in conjunction with the state Department of Environment Conservation.
The program must include a means for consumers to return electronic waste to the manufacturer and provide instructions on how to destroy data on the devices; retailers of such equipment will also be required to provide consumers with such information under the law.
While New York residents aren’t yet required to recycle their e-waste, it will no longer be collectible from businesses beginning Jan. 1, 2012 (Jan. 1, 2015 for households).
Other states are considering similar bills that also address destroying data saved on electronic devices, including Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Oregon.