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Data Sanitization: What is a Certificate of Data Destruction and Is It Important?


One of the greatest misconceptions in the data sanitization industry is a piece of paper called a “certificate of data destruction.” Many data destruction companies issue these “certificates” to their clients as a means of proving the legitimacy and quality of their services. But unbeknownst to most customers, data destruction certificates of this type carry no weight whatsoever as the industry currently has no such certifying authority.

Printed data destruction certificates are not a guarantee of security and they offer no real measurable way of validating that 100% of the data was effectively destroyed. Additionally, should a company place its trust in a data destruction company and somehow data that was supposed to have been destroyed leaks into the public domain, a printed data destruction certificate will not offer any protection in a court of law. For example, if a hard drive were to turn up with hospital patient information still on it, that hospital could be fined tens of thousands of dollars in HIPAA violations for failing to destroy the data properly, even if they have a certificate saying they did.

What You Want to Get is a Digital Data Destruction Certificate

Unlike a printed certificate of data destruction which can be easily fabricated, a digital data destruction certificate can only be produced by data destruction software after the completion of an intensive software data wiping process. The data sanitization software automatically tracks and records the process where upon completion it compiles the information in a PDF file for the client’s records.

Digital certificates should always include the following information:

  • Report ID
  • Client name
  • Brand and model of equipment being used
  • Equipment serial number
  • RAM
  • HDD Size
  • Model and serial numbers for the HDDs
  • Disk sanitizing method
  • Number of passes performed
  • Number of bad sectors

Only a digital data destruction certificate is fully auditable and backed by the legal documents behind the data destruction contract. Therefore, this is the only type of certificate you should be interested in when considering data destruction companies.

Contact Liquid Technology for Auditable Data Sanitization

Liquid Technology is a leader in data sanitization and we have over a decade of experience providing reliable and auditable results to hundreds of different clients from varying industries. Plus, we are fully insured by a $5M policy to help protect our clients from worst case situations, such as the HIPAA example above.

Don’t risk your company’s reputation or the business itself by not protecting your sensitive data. Contact Liquid Technology today at 800-797-5478 for professional, DOD-compliant data sanitization and hard drive destruction.