Risk vs. Cost: The Truth Behind Free Computer Recycling
As the technology recycling industry continues to grow, you begin to see a flood of new and existing businesses now offering these types of services. A recent trend has seen many of these businesses offering to recycle old computers and other IT assets at no cost. While this is great for their bottom line, this leaves the door wide open to risks such as data breaches and potential fines from local and state governments.
The concern of your asset disposal vendor should not just be removing your old computers. The focus should be on helping to mitigate your risk of a data breach by providing secure data destruction and liability indemnification. This includes a department of defense (DoD) 3 pass overwrite on all hard drives, certified destruction of all data bearing devices, and responsible recycling. This will not only mitigate your risk of exposure it will improve your overall compliance with local, state and federal legislature. For example, HIPAA, HITECH, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley. It is very difficult to provide all of these services without a price tag, which leads me to my next point, how “FREE” is free?
What you get for “FREE”
We have performed our own independent research and have discovered how many of these companies that claim to provide this service for free, but it can end up costing you money. Initially, the collection and removal of the items is done at no charge. However, if any additional services are needed there will be charges per each service rendered. For instance, if you need a full service pickup, or a complete inventory of all items collected, or even a DoD standard 3-pass wipe on all devices that store data, most of these companies charge an additional fee for all of these services. With that being said, they may be properly destroying your data but without a detailed audit report with serial numbers of what equipment was received and processed the “FREE” certificate of destruction will not provide much indemnification for your company.
Here is a great article highlighting the debate of ‘free’ vs. paid technology disposal.