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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Mosieur

Did You Read the User Agreement?

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

When you send your lost and found devices to a certified electronics recycler, you expect your job to be done and your hands clean. Using phrases like “Certified Data Erasure” or “Secure Data Destruction” you would assume, and rightly so, these companies are protecting your guest’s data and your reputation.

What though, if depending on the company you choose, that’s not the case? What if right in their user agreement the company told you explicitly it “does not guarantee that it will erase data” and “In no way will we, our affiliates and partners be liable for any indirect, consequential, punitive, incidental, special, or exemplary damages, whether foreseeable or unforeseeable, even if we were advised of the possibility of such damages arising out of this AGREEMENT and PARTICIPANT’s use of our program.” So basically, you are sending your devices to this “trusted” company, in hopes that they are being properly erased so that you are not held responsible for any sort of data breach.

Would you continue to send your devices to this company upon reading that in the user agreement? Maybe there is money in exchange for these electronics. However, I highly doubt the compensation you are getting for these devices compares even remotely to the million-dollar lawsuit you could be served if a data breach occurred.

Think this is unlikely? It could be as simple as this: Your staff follows the business protocol of sending unclaimed electronics to your chosen recycler. The items are sent away without a second thought. The company does what it advertises, factory resets the device and recycles it. It ends up in the hands of a dishonest, inconsiderate person. Now it belongs to him, he spends the evening downloading customer data, trade secrets, and financial reports he was able to recover because the phone’s data was not properly erased. The phone belonged to a Fortune 500 executive.

Months later, as the data breach becomes public knowledge, computer specialists trace the source to the lost phone. Attempts to locate the hacker and his cyber gang have gone cold. The large hotel chain is served with a lawsuit alleging negligence and demanding money and punitive damages in the millions. Your first thought would probably be, “But I handed these devices to so and so company to be erased using their Certified Data Erasure option, it’s their problem now.” Imagine your disappointment when you read the user agreement. The blame falls all on you.

We don’t want this to happen to you. The 911 Cell Phone Bank doesn’t just factory reset the devices you send; using licensed data erasure software, we delete ALL data and securely dispose of the devices we receive. Simply factory resetting your phone or other device does NOT erase all data. Let us ensure that all your devices are free of any previous owners’ sensitive material, so you can focus on running your business, and not stress about a data breach. If you would like more information on how we ensure all data please contact your 911 Cell Phone Bank representative.

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