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Because of their inherent technology, hard drives tend to always remember data that
they once held. In order to minimize the chance of anyone recovering data from discarded
or repurposed hard drives, they must undergo a thorough erasing process.
Following current best practices, hard drives are sanitized with specialized wiping software that guarantees at least Department of Defense level of confidence on erasure.
All hard drives that are inside discarded or surplused equipment are fully wiped before the hosting equipment is disposed of. In addition, all computers either repurposed or moved from one user to another are wiped.
In instances where the data held on a hard drive is essential to business continuity or the data is part of an active investigation, the department supervisor may request that wiping be delayed or avoided.
Users wishing to ensure that their data is erased before they leave Winthrop may explicitly request and witness a wipe.
Hard drives not meeting a minimum operating condition or not otherwise accessible by wiping software must be physically damaged (using methods such as electromagnetic bulk erasure followed by power drilling) to prevent data recovery.