Data Management Disposition and E-Waste Recycling

Published in Technology on 22nd November 2016

The world today vastly differs from the world we live in 100 years ago. People today regard this age as the digital age, where everyone is interconnected via electronic means. Because of this new age, a new tool has been introduced to humanity in the form of computers and digital devices likes cellular phones and tablets. According to statistics, the ratio of digital devices in human is now around 7.22 million devices to 7.19 million humans and it is continuously rising.  Even ordinary appliances are starting to become interconnected like refrigerator, air conditioner etc.  They can store data which are sometimes personal to the user like illnesses, age and the secret of the people using it.

Because of the vast amount of equipment that can store data available today, we seem to forget the end result of the technology. All unusable and discarded items all go to the dump. Most of this smart equipment has storage device. Any unscrupulous person can rummage through this dump looking for items like this. Even printed documents, like office memo, circulars and printed emails also contain important information.  A simple retrieval of important information from the storage parts and memory of these smart devices is all it takes to put a company or a person to its knees. A hacker who is targeting a company or a person can rummage targets garbage dump scoring discarded information. They usually use it to blackmail their target to submission. In the hacking world, this technique is called dumpster diving and is one of the best ways to gather information and many hacker used this technique to spy on their targets.

To mitigate this disaster, companies implement data management disposition. Usually they employe group of security personnel to sift through the data that is bound for the dumpster. They shred documents all together using shredding machines, wipe clean the data on a hard drive of discarded computers and mobile devices. They even recycle this to be re-used as a replacement parts for run down computers.

E-Waste Recycling

But for individual, be it personal or home use, it is impractical to implement this disposition setup. That is why IT asset disposition companies are quite a lucrative business these days.  A person can contact these IT asset disposition companies to rid themselves of discarded appliances and computers that might harbor unwanted information within it. They can do e-waste recycling, where they salvage the parts of these appliances or fixed it for themselves. Total hard drive destruction where a hard drive is removed and wipe its data clean or they can shred it physically onsite or offsite using hard drive shredding machine. They can also do bulk document shredding where they can shred piles and piles of document onsite.

Policies are now being implemented in the US and Europe with regard to e-waste disposal. Any IT asset disposition (ITAD) companies must comply with different laws passed by their respective legislative for the protection of the data entrusted to their companies. Any ITAD company that was found using user data for their own gain can get their licensed revoked and their reputation, as well as their credibility will fall. This will cauce losing potential customers in the long run.