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Personal info found on sold government computers

ATLANTA - The state is halting the sale of government surplus computers, after private citizens' personal information turned up on computers bought by a bargain hunter.

Joe Kim, director of legal service for the state Department of Administrative Services, said the sale of government surplus computers has been put on hold.

Credit card numbers, birth dates and Social Security numbers of citizens were still on the hard drives of computers which state workers failed to erase before they were sold, WSB-TV reported. More than 150 surplus computers were in one man's work shed.

The dates of birth and social numbers of a Douglas County family were found on a surplus Department Human Resources computer hard drive. Computers from a psychiatric hospital in Rome contained thousands of patient records on a single hard drive, the station reported.

Kim said surplus computers won't be sold until government agencies become more consistent with the Department of Administrative Services' policy of erasing all information from computers before selling them.

''We need more insurance from agencies,'' Kim said. ''We'll either remove the data or destroy the computers ourselves.''