Why You Shouldn’t Trust Just Any ITAD Vendor with Your Data

Nov 16, 2019

When it comes time to dispose of IT assets, either through shredding and recycling or wiping and remarketing, you obviously need a qualified, experienced vendor you can trust.  While you could try to manage this process on your own, the truth is that you probably don’t have the necessary resources to devote to it (including equipment, labor, and expert personnel versed in environmental and consumer privacy laws).

The question is: how do you find a vendor you can trust to operate in your best interests, in compliance with applicable environmental and consumer privacy laws?  After all, you’re the one that stands to suffer if an ITAD service provider fails and you end up suffering a data breach, followed by the possibility of consumer identity theft, government penalties, lawsuits, and loss of revenue and reputation.

You can’t trust just any ITAD company with your confidential data, but if you’re like most North Dakota or South Dakota businesses, you simply don’t have the bandwidth to thoroughly vet every vendor you’re considering.  This is where certifications and standards come into play, and they can help you to choose a trustworthy and reliable partner for ITAD services.

Are They NAID Members?

The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is a regulatory organization responsible for creating and enforcing high standards for data destruction.  This consumer watchdog works to verify operational and security requirements through scheduled and surprise audits, and imposes fines and sanctions for non-compliance.  You’ll want to look for a ITAD service provider that is a member in good standing with or holds NAID AAA certification.

Do They Hold Environmental Certifications?

In addition to protecting confidential consumer data, your company has an obligation to properly dispose of e-waste, and this means meeting or exceeding environmental standards.  The good news is, there are several certifications you can look for to ensure that your IT assets are being properly recycled following destruction.

eStewards is an organization that focuses on standards for responsible recycling and stopping the illegal export of e-waste to developing nations, among other things.  Certification by eStewards is considered the gold standard in e-waste recycling, data security, and health and safety standards.  R2:2013 is another standard that addresses environmental, data security, quality, safety, and transparency are met for companies that repair and recycle electronics. You can also look for certifications such as OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001:2015, which focuses on a company’s environmental management, impact, and performance.

Do They Offer Chain of Custody Tracking?

Transparency is one security feature that offers reassurance and peace of mind, but not every ITAD service provider provides chain of custody tracking.  You’ll want to look for a vendor that has a 24/7 client portal so you can check the progress of destruction by device serial number.

Do They Offer Valid Certificates of Destruction and Recycling?

You’ll want proof that your IT assets have been properly disposed of. Many companies provide Certificates of Destruction and Recycling (or similar documents) for your records, but it’s important to remember that such assurances are only meaningful if the company issuing them holds certifications by trusted bodies like eStewards.

If you’re looking for a trusted, reliable, certified ITAD service provider for your business in South Dakota, North Dakota or surrounding areas, contact SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to learn more and request a quote.

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

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.