Data security is a top priority for many businesses, especially in the tech industry, but what most people are unaware of is that data remains on a device until it is completely erased. Proper data sanitization is a critical step in keeping personal information safe, and Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) is going above and beyond to ensure data sanitization meets R2v3 standards.
Electronics are used daily, and many do not realize just how many devices store datta. Anything from smartphones and fitness trackers, to garage doors and refrigerators store large amounts of personal information. It may be hard to imagine your fridge tucking away personal data, but many do exactly that and it’s important to wipe all information before getting rid of any electronic hardware.
Many devices include “factory reset” options, however, this is not an acceptable level of data sanitization under the R2v3 standard. For this reason, SERI has put together a “data expert working group” to solve the issue, and made a formal interpretation request to the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) in order to clarify the language dealing with smart watches, fitness trackers and other devices in SERI’s R2v3 standard.
SERI’s executive director Corey Dehmey explained that SERI’s goal is a circular economy, which promotes reuse first, so “the intent is certainly not to destroy working devices, but in order to reuse a device, you have to be able to ensure the data is gone.” According to Dehmey, the function of the data group is to dive into what data is on newer smart devices and what can be done about it. This includes working alongside manufacturers to design better ways to sanitize devices. “We found devices where you can’t even remove your login credentials, so how do you repurpose a device? How do you give it to your children, or someone else?”
The TAC is hoping to have made progress on the standard language in the next few months, and the technical group will be an ongoing, long-term effort.
Data sanitization is critical in order to protect enterprise data. HOBI International, Inc. is an R2v3, RIOS and ISO-14001 certified IT asset management and disposition facility that prioritizes data security and contributes to the circular economy via repair and remarketing services. HOBI’s president Craig Boswell is a SERI board member with over 30 years of experience in the industry.
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