The desire to delete confidential data can harm the environment. According to a recent report by Blancco Technology Group, a company specializing in secure data deletion, governments and public sector organizations spend up to $17 million annually on physical destruction of solid-state drives (SSDs). Replacement costs add another $40 million. Thus, the cost of destruction reaches up to 57 million US dollars, although SSDs are often still usable.
A survey of hundreds of government employees in nine countries showed that 93% of organizations have identified plans to reduce the environmental impact caused by the destruction of IT equipment, but only 21% are actively implementing plans.
54% of respondents believe the reuse of solid-state drives would be better for the environment. According to 41% of respondents, their governments prescribe the physical destruction of hard drives for security reasons.
Although formatting SSDs to clean them may not be enough, the authors of the report insist on the existence of more environmentally friendly ways to delete data than physical destruction of disks.
At the same time, as the report shows, concern for the environment is not in the first place for most governments, since 52% of respondents said the physical destruction of solid-state drives as the cheapest way to get rid of data.
35% believe that there is no certified or approved solution to erase data without physically destroying hard drives.
The data for the study were obtained from 596 government employees from nine countries: USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, India and Australia.