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Basic Data Security Definitions

Basic Data Security can be a confusing topic. In this blog, we will help to define the standard terminology and what it really means for your basic data security needs.


The eStewards Initiative is an electronics waste recycling standard created by the Basel Action Network. The program and the organization that created it grew out of the concern that electronic waste generated in wealthy countries was being dismantled in poor countries, often by underage workers.


R2 Certification

R2 certification (sometimes referred to as responsible recycling certification) is a company level certification based on the R2 standard overseen by the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The standard is described as “Responsible Recycling (“R2″) Practices for Use in Accredited Certification Programs for Electronics Recyclers”. The standard requires certified companies to have a policy on managing used and end-of-life electronics equipment, components and materials based on strategies such as reuse, materials and energy recovery and/or disposal.

This certification is intended for electronics recyclers.

Certification is issued by third party certifying bodies. Companies wishing to become R2 certified should ensure their operation is in compliance with the R2 standard and contact one of the certifying bodies that provide certification to R2. The certifying body will conduct an audit; upon successful completion of the audit the company will receive a certificate from the certifying body.


DoD 5220.22-M data sanitization method is usually implemented in the following way:

Pass 1: Overwrite all addressable locations with binary zeroes.
Pass 2: Overwrite all addressable locations with binary ones (the complement of the above).
Pass 3: Overwrite all addressable locations with a random bit pattern
Verify the final overwrite pass.
Erasing a hard drive using the DoD 5220.22-M data sanitization method will prevent all software-based file recovery methods from recovering data from the drive, as well as hardware-based recovery methods.

A 2001 DoD memo specified additional overwriting methods that have somehow become adopted as part of the “standard.” The DoD 5220.22-M ECE method is an extended (7-pass) version of the DoD 5220.22-M. It runs the DoD 5220.22-M twice, with an extra pass (DoD 5220.22-M (C) Standard) sandwiched in between. The latest version of the “standard,” last updated in 2007, no longer specifies an overwriting pattern.

The DoD 5220.22-M sanitization method is one of the most common sanitization methods used in data destruction software. Most data sanitization software supports multiple data sanitization methods, including DoD 5220.22-M.


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