JEFFERSON CITY -Sensitive materials may be accessible to the public on computers donated by the state government, according to a report released Wednesday by the state auditor's office.
According to the report, information erased from 37 of 56 computers could be accessed using software easily available to the public. Auditors were able to retrieve sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, and medical data from 23 of the 37 computers.
Surplus computers from state offices are given to the Missouri State Agency for Surplus Property, which redistributes them to not-for-profit organizations, local school disticts, and other organzations within the division. The Department also releases some of the computers for auctions open to the public.
Of the 12 departments that had computers tested, only two were found to have effective procedures for erasing data.
Doug Young, IT Chief of the Convservation Department, said the lapse may be a reult of the state being technologically behind the times.
His department had five computers tested, four were found to have sensitive data.
"We're still perhaps living in a world dated about three years ago and weren't quite up to speed on how things had changed," Young said.
He said his department would comply with the State Auditor's reccommendation.
Neither State Auditor Claire McCaskill nor a representative from MOSASP could be reached for this story.