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Government Orders Grinding Machine for Data Purge

DATA PROTECTION—CANADA

March 1, 2011

The Canadian Press reports on the federal government's order for a large-scale grinding machine that will destroy data that's been stored on discarded media to be sure that it's "reliably overwritten." Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart reported last year that three government agencies had been discarding old cell phones at the Public Works Department without purging the data first. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Communications Security Establishment both issue guidelines on destruction of government data, however. A public works spokesman said that besides ensuring the data will be permanently destroyed, the onsite grinder will keep data from being "transported off-premises, which also reduces the risks of unauthorized disclosure."
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