JEITA: Deleting data from hard disks won't erase it

A organization backed by Japan's largest electronics companies has issued a warning to PC users that data stored on the hard disk of a computer that is being scrapped or thrown away can be read by a malicious third party, even if the disk has been reformatted, and has called on PC makers to offer software and services to protect users.

"What users normally do as data deletion, is not exactly deleting data," said Atsuko Agata, a spokeswoman for the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). "It just temporarily puts a mark on data that says this data is unnecessary."

In order to completely erase data from a hard disk, special software is needed and PC makers should offer such software or a related service to their customers, JEITA said in a statement. PC makers should provide information on how to erase data from a hard disk on their Web sites and in their products' manuals, it added.

This is the first time that JEITA has issued guidelines for how PC makers and users should handle the issue of deleting data from a hard disk when disposing of a PC and comes in response to two recent trends, Agata said.

JEITA is aware of many incidents involving sensitive data that has been leaked after the PC this data was stored on was either scrapped or given away, Agata said. In addition, the Japanese government is promoting a measure that would make recycling of consumer PCs mandatory by law, she said. A bill that makes recycling of corporate PCs mandatory has already been passed into law.

JEITA will release detailed guidelines for how PC makers and PC users should handle the issue of deleting data from a hard disk when disposing of a PC in mid-May, Agata said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kuriko Miyake

PC World
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?