Data Destruction Regulations
The need for robust data destruction regulations has never been greater as organizations increasingly handle ever greater quantities of IT assets. How can your organization remain compliant?
In response to the alarming rise in costly data breaches in the United States, data destruction regulations have been put in place to protect the data privacy interests of private individuals and to minimize the quantity of electronic waste going to landfills.
The importance of an effective data destruction policy has grown immeasurably in recent years. Gone are the days of tossing out old hard drives and hoping for the best. One of the major sources of data breaches comes from savvy thieves accessing discarded hard drives and magnetic media carelessly disposed of. Therefore, it stands to reason that data security during the data disposal process should be a primary concern for organizational risk mitigation.
Data Destruction Regulations & Laws in the US
The United States first implemented privacy legislation in the 1934 Social Security Act, which forbids the disclosure of Americans’ personally identifiable information attached to their Social Security Number.
In today’s digital age, laws enacted by the federal government and 35 State Governments seek to protect personally identifiable information (sensitive data) handled by governmental and business entities. Nearly every state, however, has laws in place protecting sensitive data used by businesses.
Fines For Breaching Data Destruction Requirements
Fines and penalties for improper data disposal or non-compliant electronic waste disposal vary, but generally, it’s something your organization should seek to avoid. While the penalties are expensive, your organization will also suffer immensely from public backlash as the environment is now a critical social issue.
Electronic waste recycling regulations are equally as important as regulations established for data privacy. These related types of legislation should be strictly adhered to for any business disposing of IT assets.
Much of the electronic waste in the United States sits in landfills and pollutes the soil, water, and air. E-waste is also sent to the developing world where it is simply forgotten about. Either way, this waste problem is now a global crisis which is a tipping point.
The Need For Change
Despite the urgency of the e-waste crisis, the United States is behind much of the developed world in its ability to recycle or otherwise divert e-waste from landfills. Only 25 states (as of 2021) have enacted electronic waste regulations, with California being a pioneer back in 2003. In many states, it is still perfectly legal to dispose of e-waste in the trash without any repercussions.
It is likely that in the coming years, more states will adopt e-waste regulations that will punish big polluters and incentivize businesses to adopt more environmentally friendly methods of disposal, such as recycling, refurbishment, and remarketing old IT assets.
Data Disposal and Electronic Waste
Following the introduction of data destruction regulations across most of the US, IT asset disposition has grown to meet the demand for thorough, secure, and responsible data disposal.
Companies such as Wisetek provide professional ITAD solutions including hard drive disposal and data destruction services, degaussing, shredding, along with an environmental policy designed to reduce e-waste. Wisetek is committed to strict compliance with all data destruction regulations in every jurisdiction where they operate.
Wisetek is the industry leader in data disposal and e-waste.
Our services include:
• Secure data destruction (shredding, degaussing, punching)
• Complete chain of custody for every process performed
• Transparent, genuine evidence of destruction (certificates, video evidence, in-person verification)
• Secure, GPS-tracked logistics to waste disposal sites
• Professional certifications and a solid track record of compliance with all relevant data destruction regulations
Certifications & Compliance
Not all IT Asset Disposition providers are alike, however. Your primary concerns regarding your choice of ITAD provider should be trust and security. For these reasons, several international and US-based certifications have been established to ensure that certified ITAD providers are providing consistently secure services according to guidelines and standards in place. Wisetek are committed to meeting the highest possible standards regarding Data Destruction and always strive to develop an excellent relationship with clients.
Although data disposal certifications are essential for any reputable ITAD company, also ensure that they hold electronic waste certifications too. Look for certifications such as R2 – Responsible Recycling, WEEELABEX, and e-Stewards, since membership with these organizations requires strict adherence to good environmental practice such as a commitment to zero-waste and a focus on circular economy models.
Acquire Evidence of Destruction
It is imperative to proactively search for companies that provide real, tangible proof or evidence of secure data destruction. Accountability and the ability to respond to audits professionally will greatly minimize risks for non-compliance, so trust and security are non-negotiable, and evidence of destruction is necessary.
In addition to being a member of reputable organizations such as the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), it’s imperative that your ITAD company provide certifications. Wisetek provide all clients with video evidence of destruction and data destruction certificates, which are important for building trust as well as for protecting your company in the event of an audit.
How Can My Organization Maintain Compliance?
Trust and security are the cornerstones of any successful ITAD company, so it stands to reason that your organization should never leave data disposal to chance and instead choose an ITAD provider with a wealth of expertise and transparent processes designed to foster trust with their clients.
Wisetek operates nationwide across the United States and internationally, so no matter where your company operates you can remain compliant.
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