The separation of data can be environmentally harmful and punishable

Data erasure according to GDPR
The motto “Everything will be modern again” or “Back to the roots” probably does not apply to analog work or even the tried and tested typewriter. Laptops, PCs and smartphones have become an integral part of the daily use of every company, regardless of whether it is an SME or a group. Business processes are becoming more and more automated and global digitization is advancing. The demands on company IT in terms of speed and reliability are increasing immensely. You have to be able to keep up and face the challenges of the company individually. For this reason, companies exchange their IT on average every 3-5 years. Old devices are "shut down" and handed over to waste disposal companies. However, an important aspect during the decommissioning process is often given too little priority: the data contained on the devices must be deleted or destroyed in accordance with GDPR regulations. Various studies show that companies not only act with gross negligence when it comes to the physical disposal of devices, but also and above all when it comes to the disposal of data.

18.03.2021/XNUMX/XNUMX I Articles I Images: bb-net media

The problem with IT hardware
You never forget - unless the data contained on the devices is deleted according to certified standards or the data carriers are destroyed. It is estimated that in 2020 every person worldwide generated up to 1,7 MB of data per second. No matter what happens to the company hardware, the protection of all data (company, employee or customer data) must be guaranteed at all times. Responsible handling of data and its irretrievable destruction on data carriers that are no longer required or that have been decommissioned is a company's Achilles heel. If data is lost or misused, regardless of whether it is due to a lack of data deletion, virus attacks, fault by employees or technical problems - immense costs, sometimes criminal consequences and a massive loss of trust are caused. In the law under Art. 83 (5) GDPR, the range of fines is listed. This can amount to up to 20 million euros or 4% of total sales. In order to avoid the serious consequences, companies have to be more conscientious about separating from data.


The worst solution: sledgehammer and press
A study by blancco Technologie GmbH from 2019 shows that around a third, i.e. 36 percent of companies, rely on inadequate and unsustainable procedures in the area of ​​data deletion and hardware disposal. This behavior causes considerable environmental damage. One of the worst ecological processes in the field of data destruction and hardware disposal is physical destruction in particular. The hardware is shredded in such a way that data access is impossible.

If you take a closer look at the problematic production and disposal of IT equipment, it quickly becomes clear how dangerous and harmful the built-in materials are for people and nature if they are improperly disposed of. Destroying functioning data media just to make data unusable therefore brings immense damage to our environment and society.


Plan B: IT cemeteries as an all-round solution?
The prescribed retention periods for data make it difficult for companies to develop a sustainable strategy for their IT. The reasons for deciding to store the hardware and all of its data are initially understandable, but not socially, ecologically or even economically. Enclosing decommissioned but fully functional hardware in the basement or warehouse is a clear waste of resources and carries a high security risk. The principle “out of sight, out of mind” does not apply to the data contained on the devices. If stored devices are lost due to theft, grossly negligent data protection violations can occur.


So how do you "properly" separate?
Although companies have no influence on the manufacture of IT products, at the end of life they can prove that they handle data responsibly and at the same time make extremely attractive profits. Data deletion is not the same as data deletion - there are also serious differences here. This process should be done by professionals. Data destruction, i.e. the physical destruction of data carriers, should only take place if data deletion is no longer possible due to a defect. If you want to take responsibility, ideally get an IT remarketing specialist on board. IT remarketing service providers are experts in the purchase of used hardware, data deletion according to certified standards, the preparation of devices and their return to the market. Many IT remarketers, also known as IT refurbishers, buy used hardware from companies, delete data and completely recondition the devices so that they can be returned to the market and used again. In the end, the company gets a clean process through the cooperation with IT processors, makes a positive contribution to the environment, saves expensive disposal and also achieves high additional income.

When choosing the right IT remarketer, however, there are a few things to consider. You can download a whitepaper with a selection point plan and a lot of background information here:


IT zoom "Ex und Hopp - no solution for IT disposal" (PDF)Download
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