The Importance of ITAD Certification, Highlighted by the e-Stewards Revocation Case

Updating and disposing of IT equipment can be a complex and daunting task for any business. However, for heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare, education, finance, and government, the stakes are even higher.

ITAD: Protecting Sensitive Data and Compliance

Not only do you need to protect your company’s data security, but you also need to ensure compliance with strict regulations like HIPAA and FACTA. This is why using a certified IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) vendor is crucial, particularly in North Dakota and South Dakota where regulations are not as stringent for the many unscrupulous providers who may approach you to “buy” your used devices. This is where certifications come in.

The Value of Certifications

Certifications, such as R2 and e-Stewards, offer a high level of assurance that electronic equipment is being handled responsibly and data security is being protected. However, obtaining and maintaining these certifications is not easy, it requires a significant investment of time, effort, and resources. Audits are continual, demanding, and require a full-time effort to stay compliant.

R2 and e-Stewards certifications are considered the gold standard in the electronics recycling industry. Certified ITAD vendors undergo a rigorous certification process that involves unannounced audits, employee background checks, compliance with information destruction standards, and strict environmental, health, and safety standards. All data on electronic devices must also be properly destroyed and verified, making it impossible for anyone to access it.

The Watchdogs of Compliance: Revocation Example

Official certifying bodies act as watchdogs to ensure that providers stay in compliance. Any violations can result in certification being withdrawn. For instance, in March 2023, the Basel Action Network (BAN) withdrew Phoenix-based eGreen IT Solutions’ e-Stewards Certification due to serious violations, where BAN deployed GPS trackers on printers and discovered that they were sent to an unapproved provider and ultimately exported to the Philippines and Malaysia, which is a direct violation of the e-Stewards Standard and its conformity with international Basel Convention law.

This example of revoking a certification doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it proves the benefits of using a dually certified processor, who is certified to both R2 and e-Stewards, to provide an extra layer of protection and ensure they are always in compliance. It also increases confidence among stakeholders that the certification program truly does monitor providers and hold them accountable.  SEAM recently underwent a similar unannounced inspection which ultimately verified and reinforced our commitment to the certification standards.

Certified in South Dakota

Partnering with SEAM, the only certified ITAD vendor in the Dakotas and one of only 14 dually-certified vendors in the country,  provides a way for North Dakota and South Dakota businesses to demonstrate their commitment to data security and environmental responsibility. By using a certified ITAD vendor, businesses can ensure that their data security and environmental compliance needs are met while providing peace of mind to their customers and communities. Contact us today for a free risk assessment of your current ITAD process.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

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