Forbes recently published an article about the Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Data disposal. The article talks about how data creation and consumption are at an all time high. The author goes on to say that organizations often spend much of their time and money protecting this data from hackers trying to get in. They spend the least amount of time and money protecting data on its way out the door. So, what are the consequences of choosing the wrong type of technology disposal vendor?
At Back Thru The Future, what we have often seen is that the person in charge of disposing of obsolete equipment just wants the e-waste gone. We get that. Nobody wants to spend time and resources disposing of anything.
Many recyclers say their services are easy to use and compliant. Some claim that by refurbishing the corporate computers they receive, they provide low cost options to the community. They may say that the cost of any recycling is offset by the sale of their refurbished devices. IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) managers often think this is a great option – they get rid of their unwanted devices and do a good service – at a very low, or no cost.
Here are the consequences of choosing the wrong type of technology disposal vendor:
- There’s sensitive data on the hard drives of those computers, printers, and cell phones. While many recyclers wipe the hard drives, corporations are taking a chance that there will be no errors or mishandling during that process.
- There’s also identifying information on the back of many of those computers. Which means that if they do end up in a landfill, it isn’t difficult to trace it back to the corporate 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 corporate owner. They will face fines, bad press, and possible lawsuits if personal data gets leaked. And, most likely the ITAD manager will lose their job.
Those consequences lead to the inevitable question: Is it worth it? Is it worth the financial risk, the loss of business and the bad press when there is a better option?
Because, there IS a better option. It’s destruction and recycling. 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 corporate owner, it also means that no data will EVER get leaked. No devices will end up in a landfill or other illegal dumping site.