Pressing delete July 17, 2008

Requirements for destroying digital records

delete. Image by M i x y on Flickr CC BY 2.0The destruction of digital records is different to the destruction of hardcopy records. In particular, simply pressing ‘delete’ does not necessarily mean that the records are completely gone; while the link used to access them may be removed, they may still exist in a data store or on a server in the organisation. In other words, the deletion of a file or the reformat of a hard drive may not always be adequate. As far as possible the destruction of records should be irreversible with no reasonable risk of the information being recovered again.

As it is increasingly difficult and expensive to completely destroy a digital record, methods of digital records media ‘sanitisation’ have been devised to help organisations to implement digital records destruction.

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