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State audit reveals poor protection of private information

September 15, 2004
By: Zack Ottenstein
State Capital Bureau

A state audit finds Missouri redistributing computers to the public without erasing sensitive data.

Zack Ottenstein (Ah-ten-styne) reports from the state Capitol.

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State Auditor Claire McCaskill, the democratic nominee for governor, says information like Social Security numbers, bank account information, and medical data is not being wiped from used computer hard drives being redistributed to the public.

Auditors successfully retrieved information from more than half of the tested computers.

Doug Young, the state's Conservation Dept. IT chief, says industry changes rendered the state's policies inadequate.

Computers tested from Young's Dept. had sensitive data recovered from them.

Young says his department will comply with the audit.

From the state Capitol, I'm Zack Ottenstein.