Attorney General Press Release Header
December 15, 2011



(HARTFORD) Attorney General George Jepsen said Thursday that Staples, Inc. has addressed his concerns about the sale of used and refurbished computers in Connecticut by changing the process it uses to clear the hard drives of personal information of previous owners.

Attorney General Jepsen said his Office would close its investigation based on the steps the Framingham, Mass.-based company has taken since he contacted them in June. The Attorney General wrote to the company after reading a report that more than one-third of the used and refurbished computers, memory cards and USB flash drives sold by Staples Canada still held private customer information.

“I am pleased by the quick response by Staples to address the issue and in time for the holiday shopping season,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “I am assured the company’s new procedures will clear the hard drive of refurbished computers before they are offered for re-sale.”

Staples told the Attorney General that its stores in Connecticut and across the United States only resell HP computers returned to the store within 14 days of purchase. They do not sell other used computers or used storage devices. No issues similar to those in Canada had been reported to Staples in the United States.

In response to the Attorney General’s concerns and its own interest in protecting computer security, Staples said it adopted a new, enhanced procedure for clearing used computers. The process seeks to prevent even specialized software from accessing information of any previous user. Once the process is completed, a store manager inspects the computer, verifies its status and signs a sticker placed on the box, which states the product was used previously and has been reset to original factory settings.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fitzsimmons handled this matter for the Attorney General.


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