It is great for the productivity of your business when you are able to invest in new equipment, and many organisations now appreciate that a regular upgrade programme will more than repay the investment. However have you considered what happens to your old equipment and what your responsibilities are? Do you have internal operating procedures to manage it? There are a number of legal obligations of which you should be aware.
Environment Acts and Directives
There are a number of acts and directives controlling the disposal of electronic and hazardous waste, most recently the Waste Electronic & Electrical Equipment Directive or WEEE as it is more commonly known. Under this directive anything that requires an electrical current to flow though it to operate has to be recycled in accordance with the standards set out in the directive. Furthermore the Environment Act and Environmental Protection Act specify that you have a legal duty of care for ensuring your equipment is reused, recycled or safely disposed of at appropriately licensed facilities. Directors, Managers and other employees who deal with environmental waste matters can all be held legally accountable.
Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act requires that all information collected by an organisation on individuals be destroyed when the media on which it is stored becomes redundant. Individuals within an organisation have a legal duty of care to ensure that confidential data they hold is not released in an unauthorised or accidental way, particularly data relating to employees or customers. This includes storage media such as hard disk drives (which are present in all servers, PCs and tablets), memory sticks or mobile devices. Heavy penalties can be levied for non-compliance.
Devices or media containing sensitive data should be securely disposed of to ensure the data is permanently destroyed – there are a number of internationally recognised standards governing this process. Good corporate governance dictates that the contractor who carries out the data destruction process should provide a certificate which is kept on your company’s files.
If you are in a business regulated by an industry body such as the Financial Conduct Authority, regulation may be even more stringent. We advise you to check with the regulatory body should this be the case.
Pro Drive has selected approved suppliers for IT equipment disposal which comply with the most stringent regulations and best of all, this service if often free of charge. Call us on 0845 507 0846 to find out more.