The world has become increasingly dependent on technology, a situation which has led to the creation of a lot of digital data. Ensuring that data destruction is carried out to the highest standards is essential for anyone who is responsible for its retention and use. Here WEEE Technology, who provide secure data destruction services for organisations in London and further afield, identify three specific areas where the protection and destruction of personal details is particularly important.
In Offices and Businesses
Many businesses are downsizing their offices and disposing of a lot of IT equipment which may store the company’s private data. Unfortunately, the past few months have seen a lot of companies go out of business altogether. In cases such as these, liquidators, administrators or management accountants have to ensure that the electronic devices, and the data they contain, are disposed of correctly.
This means recycling the electronic equipment wherever possible and ensuring that the data they contain is completely destroyed. As specialists in corporate computer disposal in London, WEEE Technology can help firms and financial experts based in the capital meet all their legal obligations in this area.
Businesses are particularly vulnerable to data theft, sometimes from unscrupulous rivals and sometimes by opportunistic thieves, who, if a company is relocating, loiter nearby on moving day hoping to steal electronic equipment.
Some companies also receive requests to destroy data if a former employee wants to be ‘forgotten’, such as in the case of redundancy. If your business hasn’t disposed of its data properly or securely, not only could you be fined under the GDPR regulations, but there is a risk of reputational damage. Customers are likely to vote with their feet and take their custom elsewhere if they know a business has been fined for data breaches.
In Hospitals and Healthcare
Data breaches where personal health information has been ‘stolen’ can be more difficult to spot than those involving credit card or bank details. In financial cases, the victim can usually spot rogue transactions on their bank accounts. However, in healthcare-related fraud in ‘victim’ may not even be aware that someone is using their past medical history. The most common use of stolen health records is to create false identities for criminal activities, such as illegally acquiring prescriptions and medicines to sell or send abroad.
The bulk of a person’s health data is extremely sensitive and not something they would want out in the public domain. In the case of private hospitals, where people pay for healthcare, the data may also include credit card details. However, requests to destroy data under the Right to be Forgotten are less frequent within the health sector, as it’s usually in the patient’s interests for all health conditions to be kept and shared by hospitals and GP practices.
Schools and colleges hold a lot of personal information, and not just relating to pupils and staff. They handle what is known as ‘special category data’, which details pupil information such as names, addresses, ethnicity, race, medical issues and pictures. In the case of teachers and support staff, they may hold financial information relating to bank accounts which also need to be protected.
However, schools have a legal obligation to delete any information which is out of date or no longer needed. Failure to do so is a breach of the GDPR regulations. Each school or college should have their own ‘Disposal of Records Schedule’ which stipulates how long information should be kept for. Pupils and parents not only have the right to know what information is being kept on them, but also the right to be forgotten. Therefore, data may have to be destroyed if a formal request is made. For more details check out our blog on data destruction in schools.
Secure Data Destruction in London from WEEE Technology
WEEE Technology can collect all your business’s IT equipment, securely wiping data and providing certificates to show this has been done. Our partners are Global Lifecycle Solutions EMEA, the UK distributor of WhiteCanyon WipeDrive. We use their software for our secure data destruction for our clients in London and elsewhere, and we also sell this software on to prospective customers who want to erase their own data.
WEEE Tech can also destroy hard drives into smaller pieces, which are ready for recycling. At every stage of the process the equipment is kept secure and there is a verifiable chain of custody. If you would like to know more, follow this link or call us on 020 7859 4669.