Technological devices such as computers, servers, printers and phones have significantly improved our world and the way we do business.
Unfortunately, as devices reach their end-of-life or become obsolete due to consistent advancement in technology or unwanted due to changes in consumer taste and behavior; devices become potentially hazardous electronic waste (or e-waste) with ensuing disposal and device data protection becoming a growing concern.
E-waste in itself being toxic, should be stored temporarily and quickly discarded in an eco-friendly manner that is not harmful to man and the environment.
Prior to disposal, sensitive proprietary information must be saved and the storage media asset destroyed to prevent violation of privacy and confidentiality through identity and intellectual property theft.
E-Terra Technologies Ltd engages this problem by setting itself as a benchmark organization embracing international best practice and innovative solutions dealing with e-waste issues and other required essentials regarding electronic waste management.
ICT policies of most organizations in Nigeria and West African countries are loose, thereby making them vulnerable to privacy and intellectual property theft with dangerous consequences.
It is also worthy of note that most unwanted I.T assets are stored within company premises, without knowledge of their increasing toxicity and health hazard to staff and customers.
Furthermore, the disposal of unwanted I.T Assets is executed majorly through auction with little interest on where assets end-up and ensuing negative impacts associated with unprofessional e-waste treatment.
A publication in Guardian, 2015 reveals that over 200,000 cancer cases are diagnosed in Nigeria every year, with 10,000 people dying annually (10 people every hour).
Relatedly, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO) link increasing cases of cancer, kidney and liver diseases in Nigeria to environmental pollution due to industrialization and the improper handling and disposal of electronic waste.
Furthermore, the magazine recovered 22,000 “deleted” files from eight computers purchased online, demonstrating that formatting and degaussing is insufficient to remove data from hard drives completely.
In summary, each time we store or dispose our electronic waste unprofessionally we contribute negatively to these statistics.