Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Data Disposal

In an article published by Forbes, titled, The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Data Disposal the author shows that data consumption is at an all time high. Medical device manufacturers and users often spend much of their time and money protecting this data from hackers trying to get in, but spend the least amount of time and money focusing on digital data disposal.

We have often seen that the person tasked with disposing of obsolete equipment doesn’t understand what data resides on it. And usually, they don’t understand what could happen if that data got compromised.

Many recyclers will say their services are safe and compliant. Some will claim that by refurbishing the equipment they receive, the resale value will offset the cost of removal. Disposal managers often think this is a great option – they get rid of their unwanted devices at a very low cost, if any.

Here are the consequences of choosing the wrong type of technology disposal vendor:

  1. There’s sensitive data on the hard drives of those computers and medical devices. While many recyclers wipe the hard drives, organizations are taking a chance that there will be no errors or mishandling during that process.
  2. There’s also identifying information on the back of many of those devices. Which means that if they do end up in a landfill, it isn’t difficult to trace it back to the original owner, and that comes with fines.

But who’s responsible if one of those devices or hard drives gets into the wrong hands?

The original owner. They will face fines, bad press, and possible lawsuits if personal data gets leaked. And, most likely the disposal manager will lose their job.

Those consequences lead to the inevitable question: Is it worth the financial risk, the loss of business and the bad press to be able to get low cost recycling?

Hard drive destruction and equipment recycling removes that risk. Destruction of the hard drives (rather than wiping), and disassembly and recycling of everything else. While that means that no money gets handed back to the original original owner, it also means that no data will EVER get leaked. No devices will end up in a landfill or other illegal dumping site.

That process protects our customers, their employees, and their business.

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