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Removal of Data from Electronic Media

The Commonwealth's Standard for Removal of Data from Electronic Media (pdf) requires that all data on computers and other electronic devices be erased or rendered inaccessible by destruction of the media. The standard stipulates that when data is erased from electronic devices it must be done in accordance with the Department of Defense's standard for data wiping. Information Technology provides services in support of William & Mary's departmental compliance with the standard.

IT takes full responsibility for the removal of data from electronic equipment leased through the university's Equipment Service Program (ESP). This includes completing the form required by Property Control to verify the data has been removed. For ESP computers, no action is required by individual departments.

If a department plans to surplus purchased electronic equipment, they should contact It and arrange to deliver the equipment to Jones Hall.

IT has a 'degausser.' A degausser will erase all data to the Department of Defense standard but will also render the hard drive useless for the future. IT will degauss hard drives, or departments can schedule a time to use the degausser to wipe the drive themselves. IT will provide training and advise the department representative on the proper process.

If a department chooses to destroy the electronic media rather than erase the data, they must do so at their own discretion.