Storage legal question

nodle

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I know this is kinda strange but was wondering how legal this is? How legal is it for a computer repair place to clone your entire harddrive and store it on a central server every time they bring it in? I mean like 30 terrabytes of data labeled with the persons last name and first and stored for years? Here is where it gets strange. The police are wanting them to do it so they have access to the data. Does this even seem legal? Plus the police having access to everyone's data? Just kinda wanting to see what people think?
 

munkle

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Well I don't know about privacy issues but in the intellectual property class I took they would probably be violating copywrite law
 

bloodypulp

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I would take my equipment to a different shop.
This is generally illegal, unless you signed some document relinquishing your property rights to the shop. Encrypt your data. The police need a court order or warrant to access it.
 

fields_g

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Do you have this "Just helping the Police" policy in writing? Might be interesting to confirm this with the police / local government. Local press is always looking for a good story to tell.

You might be able to convince me that a clone could be a good measure for to make sure the shop doesn't make things worse than when it entered, but keeping the image file longer than a week or so is completely unreasonable. And this should only be done with written authorization.
 

Jerkson

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I generally do this for my client's so that I have a backup to restore from when formatting. However, most of my client's like that they have a backup of everything kept from that point in time in case of disaster. I purge them every 6 months or so and when they are stored they are encrypted Acronis .TIBs.

That said, I only keep it if the client wants me to / doesnt mind. It also covers my ass in case I forgot to resotr something after the format (like when they forget to mention the have emails saved in c:\windows\emails. sigh...
 

nodle

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Ya thanks guys I'll pass along the info. It seemed very wrong to me. Even a no no on the police side also. I'll let him know thanks.
 

dave99

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Not sure of the legality of it, since there might be waivers when you drop it off. However it's wrong on so many levels for the police to be requesting it, or if the shop allows them to access it without a warrant.
 

RazorWind

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I know this is kinda strange but was wondering how legal this is? How legal is it for a computer repair place to clone your entire harddrive and store it on a central server every time they bring it in? I mean like 30 terrabytes of data labeled with the persons last name and first and stored for years? Here is where it gets strange. The police are wanting them to do it so they have access to the data. Does this even seem legal? Plus the police having access to everyone's data? Just kinda wanting to see what people think?

I think it probably depends on disclosure. If they do this without your knowledge, there may be some legislation that covers privacy that they'd run afoul of. If their terms of service, which you're required to acknowledge somehow when you drop the machine off says that they do this, then I suspect it may actually be legal. Sort of the equivalent of dropping your car off at a mechanic, who takes photos of the inside of it while they're working on it, and keeps them on file.

I'm not a lawyer, though. If you're seriously worried about this happening, you should contact one and find out for sure.

It also doesn't seem terribly practical. At ~$100 per TB, the shop would have to spend $50+ for every computer that came in, assuming a typical computer has at least 500GB of storage. That would add up pretty quick, and for a small operation, would become impractical anyway.
 

GeorgeHR

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I know this is kinda strange but was wondering how legal this is? How legal is it for a computer repair place to clone your entire harddrive and store it on a central server every time they bring it in? I mean like 30 terrabytes of data labeled with the persons last name and first and stored for years? Here is where it gets strange. The police are wanting them to do it so they have access to the data. Does this even seem legal? Plus the police having access to everyone's data? Just kinda wanting to see what people think?

Computer repair offers a chance for discovering crime. Kiddy porn on your computer. No need to make a clone. They just call the police.

---

We have 20 years of data from our clients on our computers. The data would never go to a repair shop.
 

Liger88

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Uh legal? No lawyer myself, but if I found out and was a customer I'd take you to court until I was broke because you were not authorized to do such a thing.

At the very least you better have a written contract stating the hard drive being repaired will be cloned or I'm almost 99% positive you are going to be legally reliable not if, but when it comes out most likely from a court case. Screw what the police say, they don't make the laws and can't force you to do things that sound sketchy just to aid them. There is a reason for the justice system and I'd definitely contact someone like the EFF or a lawyer that specializes in computer cases law to get a better answer. Under a written contract that a customer signs and agrees to you could pretty much do whatever you want which would sound like the safe bet.

I wouldn't do it even if I wasn't legally responsible. Why? Because screw law enforcement. Since 9/11 we've pretty much lost all our rights on paper. There used to be this thing called, "Get a warrant if you want to tell me to do something", but apparently most seem to think they're getting on the police's good side or fighting terrorism by feeding them whatever it is they want.
 
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Ruxl

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If this repair shop works on any financial or healthcare related computers they could be in for a world of hurt. Any non-public information that they now possess could implicate them in addition to the original owner of the data should it ever come in the wrong hands, or should they or any of their employees not be a known owner of the NPI.
 

vr.

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Computer repair offers a chance for discovering crime. Kiddy porn on your computer. No need to make a clone. They just call the police.

---

We have 20 years of data from our clients on our computers. The data would never go to a repair shop.

"Discovering" would be the key word for a good attorney wouldn't it? If the perp has the kiddie porn stashed anywhere on the hard drive other than as desktop wallpaper and they "discovered" it by poking around or searching out JPG's because they're pervs and were looking for nudie pictures of the perps wife, well that starts to sound more like illegal search. :)

But I agree with some of the other posters, mandatory cloning at Police request seems off. Voluntary cloning for data protection, has merit but what happens when they have a data leak? I wouldn't want that risk as a computer shop and I'd have my customers just sign a waiver that we're not responsible for the data. If they want a backup, sell them a hard drive, then buy it back from them when done and sign a waiver that there's no liability for data residing on this "used" drive. Yes, I deliberately laid out a ridiculous scenario. It's the American way! :)
 

tangoseal

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If you live in the United States of America this is strictly 100% forbidden and is a Felony unless they have a warrant issues by the Justice Dept because this would be a direct violation of your 4th amendment right.

This would be considered a breech of your privacy as well as your "right against unreasonable search and seizure". Under law this could be a seizure.

I would be drafting my lawsuit AS WE SPEAK if you are a victim here. This is of course unless you agree both verbally and in writing with the repair shop before repairs, then you waive any legal recourse you have. I am not an attorney just an informed citizen.
 

jojo69

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If you live in the United States of America this is strictly 100% forbidden and is a Felony unless they have a warrant issues by the Justice Dept because this would be a direct violation of your 4th amendment right.

This would be considered a breech of your privacy as well as your "right against unreasonable search and seizure". Under law this could be a seizure.

I would be drafting my lawsuit AS WE SPEAK if you are a victim here. This is of course unless you agree both verbally and in writing with the repair shop before repairs, then you waive any legal recourse you have. I am not an attorney just an informed citizen.

funny

you living in the same UNITED STATES of AMERICA that I am?

4th amendment...that's rich lol
 

tangoseal

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funny

you living in the same UNITED STATES of AMERICA that I am?

4th amendment...that's rich lol

Of course our constitution is dead. This country is not free. It is a pathetic failed joke because people would rather live in bondage. Atleast you can still get a lawsuit in the books before that right is stripped.

Next up is free speech, internet control, and total gun ban. It will happen. And then I dont know what country is left to live in anymore that would be better.
 

vr.

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Of course our constitution is dead. This country is not free. It is a pathetic failed joke because people would rather live in bondage. Atleast you can still get a lawsuit in the books before that right is stripped.

Next up is free speech, internet control, and total gun ban. It will happen. And then I dont know what country is left to live in anymore that would be better.

Africa. Then start your own freedom fighter group of pirates!
 

GeorgeHR

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"Discovering" would be the key word for a good attorney wouldn't it? If the perp has the kiddie porn stashed anywhere on the hard drive other than as desktop wallpaper and they "discovered" it by poking around or searching out JPG's because they're pervs and were looking for nudie pictures of the perps wife, well that starts to sound more like illegal search. :)

But I agree with some of the other posters, mandatory cloning at Police request seems off. Voluntary cloning for data protection, has merit but what happens when they have a data leak? I wouldn't want that risk as a computer shop and I'd have my customers just sign a waiver that we're not responsible for the data. If they want a backup, sell them a hard drive, then buy it back from them when done and sign a waiver that there's no liability for data residing on this "used" drive. Yes, I deliberately laid out a ridiculous scenario. It's the American way! :)

Service teks are not government employees and are not limited by the constitution in the same manner that the police are.

---

As for data leaks. I once had our hard drive go bad. The one with our only copy of our company data. Hand carried it to a recovery shop. Sat for 6 hours and watched a service tek recover the data. Hand carried both the bad drive and recovered data back to work. I was paid more to sit and watch the data than the recovery firm was paid.
 

tangoseal

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Service teks are not government employees and are not limited by the constitution in the same manner that the police are.

---

As for data leaks. I once had our hard drive go bad. The one with our only copy of our company data. Hand carried it to a recovery shop. Sat for 6 hours and watched a service tek recover the data. Hand carried both the bad drive and recovered data back to work. I was paid more to sit and watch the data than the recovery firm was paid.

The law applies to all citizens of the United States. Period. You are not above nor below the constitution in any caste of job title in our society. Of course that is the legit and legal definition. However reality and abuse and criminal thuggery from govt and others is rampant.

The constitution limits govt you are right about that. But it does not limit citizens. However the basic laws of the constitution cant be violated by anyone, well...... as I said ... in a perfect world.
 

dave99

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If this repair shop works on any financial or healthcare related computers they could be in for a world of hurt. Any non-public information that they now possess could implicate them in addition to the original owner of the data should it ever come in the wrong hands, or should they or any of their employees not be a known owner of the NPI.

wouldn't that be more an obligation of the person who was charged with safeguarding the data in the first place?

Accidental discovery of privileged data due to someone elses negligence would be very hard pursue.
 

odditory

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Next up is free speech, internet control, and total gun ban.

Wait how did this thread go from OP frantic/nervous/heavy flow/guilty conscience about god-knows-what on his harddrive to total gun bans? Only skimmed this train wreck but must've missed the connection.
 
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jojo69

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Wait how did this thread go from OP frantic/nervous/heavy flow/guilty conscience about god-knows-what on his harddrive to total gun bans? Only skimmed this train wreck but must've missed the connection.

that would be the mention of the 4th amendment, sorry
 

paret0

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Tell everyone to remove the Harddrives before they send it in. Nothing to copy.

"Dear Customer,

Your computer doesn't work because it lacks a hard drive.
Please feel free to contact us whenever you encounter similar problems.
Invoice for new hard drive and OS installation enclosed.

Happy Holidays,
ACME Computer Service"
 

GeorgeHR

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The law applies to all citizens of the United States. Period. You are not above nor below the constitution in any caste of job title in our society. Of course that is the legit and legal definition. However reality and abuse and criminal thuggery from govt and others is rampant.

The constitution limits govt you are right about that. But it does not limit citizens. However the basic laws of the constitution cant be violated by anyone, well...... as I said ... in a perfect world.

I am sorry for you. The Constitution restriction on searches does not apply to service teks. It was never intended to.

Perhaps one day you will understand the constitution.

----

I used to listen to the idiots on talk radio. They always fit the "original intent" of the constitution into what they wanted to believe.

That is very bad form. You should not adopt it.
 

nodle

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Just to be clear this is on the tech side of the matter not about me personally bringing in my machine. (I am a tech I know how to do that stuff) this is from a friend of mine that works for another tech company. He told me about the situation and it didn't seem right to him. So I just wanted to see what other people thought on the matter. I understand signing the waiver and all to clone the data. But for the police just to come in whenever they want without a warrant didn't seem right to me. I passed on the info. It's out of my hands now. Thanks for all the input though.
 

tangoseal

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I am sorry for you. The Constitution restriction on searches does not apply to service teks. It was never intended to.

Perhaps one day you will understand the constitution.

----

I used to listen to the idiots on talk radio. They always fit the "original intent" of the constitution into what they wanted to believe.

That is very bad form. You should not adopt it.

Oh here we go with the I dont know the constitution junk. This is not an appropriate forum for any discussion of legality of anything. Lets just close this thread as it had nothing to do with overclocking a gpu or zfs or any of that. OP without disrespect you canyt open threads lije this here. Yoy should have contacted a law offuce for sound legal advice.

Sorry for typos due to cell p.
 

lordsegan

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I am a lawyer, and this is interesting.

At least some government agencies have claimed that the 4th amendment does not apply once you "give" your data to a third-party, such as google or perhaps a computer repair center.

The 4th amendment generally applies strictly only to belongings in your home or your car. It does not, for example, apply to records that your bank might keep on you.

Still, this sounds outrageous.

Where is this happening?
 

paret0

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SCOTUS has said the police can't set up a roadblock for the general purpose of seeing what they might find. IOW, the Indiana State Police can't shut down I-65 to search, violate, and shakedown everyone who comes through sans a good and specific reason. "There might be some contraband or revenue we can seize, lawbreakers we can fine and arrest" does not meet the standard.

The case could be made, I think, that the police in this instance are attempting the same sort of general dragnet, initiating taps without probable cause merely for convenience and 'just in case they may need to put an investigation together sometime hence'.

The OP could also be construed as a case for encrypted file systems that doesn't necessarily fall under the XKCD Rubric...

security.png
 

odditory

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lordsegan said:
Still, this sounds outrageous.

Where is this happening?

From what little I've been able to ascertain this all started with someone nervous, real nervous about their datas after slow motion fever dreams of the Geek Squad putting on a white glove and running a nose along the edge of their computer loaded to the gills with Chuck E. Cheese upskirts, takes to the forum and frames it in a "what-if" scenario, the fake attorneys show up, a bottle is broken over a chair and well you know the rest..
 
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