Questions Frequently Asked

By P&E Professionals

1. WHAT IS YOUR DATA REMOVAL PROTOCOL?

We utilize state of the art data-clearing software, and the erasure is documented internally. The software is certified to provide data-erasure to the latest DOD 5220.22-M standards and is continually being updated as advances are made in the technology for clearing these devices. We check to confirm data-erasure at least 3 times during processing.

2. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A DEVICE UPON RECEIPT?

We follow a very thorough inspection process when we receive a device. First, we record the electronic serial number of each item if available. We then inspect the device for damage and usability. Items that are damaged or unusable are securely disposed of through an ISO 14001 R2 certified recycler. Items that are not damaged are checked against several device status databases to ensure the device has not been reported as stolen. If the device is clear, we inspect it for cosmetic damage that may affect usability. If a device is deemed unusable because of cosmetic damage it is securely disposed of. If the device passes the cosmetic inspection, we fully test its functionality and remove all data.

3. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH WORKING DEVICES THAT ARE SENT IN UNDER THIS PROGRAM?

After working devices are cleared of all information and tested thoroughly, they are divided into two categories: 1) obsolete models and 2) current models. Obsolete cell phones/smartphones are eligible for use in our Emergency Cell Phone Program or Lifeline Program. These devices may be distributed to our partner law enforcement and victim service agencies to be used as they see fit. Current model devices are remarketed to help defray the cost of program operation.

4. HOW DO YOU SECURELY DISPOSE OF DEVICES THAT ARE UNUSABLE?

A device is deemed unusable if it cannot be cleared of user data, it does not work and cannot be repaired, or it is obsolete and cannot access a wireless network. These devices are considered e-waste and are either used for parts in another repair or they are recycled with an ISO 14001 R2 certified electronic recycler. To preserve the chain of custody, devices are transferred in sealed cartons and are destroyed in the same manner – crushed for precious metals recovery.

5. DO YOU ACCEPT SEVERELY CRACKED OR BROKEN DEVICES?

Yes, we accept these items as well. If the device still works, we may either replace the screen or use it for parts on another device. If any device doesn’t pass clearing, then we remove the motherboard for secure recycling and use the item for parts.

6. SOME OF THE PHONES IN OUR POSSESSION DO NOT HAVE BATTERIES OR BACK COVERS. IS THAT AN ISSUE FOR YOU?

We are happy to accept these items as well. We can still work with them by either 1) replacing the missing parts, 2) using them for parts, or 3) responsibly recycling them. If the back cover is missing but the battery is still intact,

7. WHY SHOULDN’T WE SELL OUR UNCLAIMED ITEMS THROUGH AN AUCTION SITE?

Selling items may sound attractive, but consider what is most important: protecting the sensitive information contained on the device as well as your agency's reputation.  If you elect to sell your devices, make sure the company you choose GUARANTEES complete erasure of data. Read all terms and conditions carefully. It is common for companies to use terms like "Certified Data Erasure" or "Secure Data Destruction" but employ processes that DO NOT ensure complete data erasure. Some even say so in their user agreement - terminology such as: "we assume no liability" or "we do not guarantee we will erase all data on devices". Click here to see what we found when we purchased 10 phones through a popular online auction service.

8. YOUR SERVICES ARE DESCRIBED AS BEING 100% FREE, INCLUDING SHIPPING. WHAT SHIPPING SERVICE DO YOU USE TO GET THE DEVICES TO YOUR ORGANIZATION WHILE MAINTAINING THE SECURITY OF THE PROPERTY?

We utilize FedEx as our default service of choice; we will also use USPS at department request only. If your agency would like to complete our recommended and complimentary simple Participation Agreement - it’s free - we will add your agency as a named insured on our E&O insurance policy, which would indemnify the agency from any potential liability caused by a lost package. Please call 866-290-7864 or send us an email to request an agreement.

9. OUR AGENCY HAS A NEED FOR EMERGENCY PHONES FOR VICTIMS. HOW WOULD OUR DEPARTMENT OBTAIN THESE?

Your department can request up to 10 phones at any time. Simply call 866-290-7864 or email us with a request for more details.

10. WHAT KIND OF DEVICES WILL YOU ACCEPT?

All devices that store digital personally identifiable information or other forms of personal, private, and confidential information will be accepted. Personal electronics that we accept include (but are not limited to):

  • Cell phones, Smartphones, and Blackberry’s from all carriers and manufacturers.

  • Laptop computers from all manufacturers.

  • Tablets from all manufacturers.

  • Cameras from all manufacturers.

  • Digital media players i.e. mp3, DVD, and cd players, voice recorders etc…from all manufacturers.

  • Portable video game systems from all manufacturers.

  • Smart watches from all manufacturers.

  • Memory storage devices i.e. SD cards, external memory storage devices from all manufacturers.

  • Electronic accessories i.e. chargers, headsets, earphones, rechargeable batteries from all manufacturers.

  • Desktop printers from all manufacturers.

  • Pin pad devices.

  • Desktop CPU’s - preferably (but not limited to) the hard drive.

11. DO YOU ACCEPT DESKTOP CPU’s AND TOWERS?

We generally do not accept desktop CPU’s or towers by themselves, however, due to the sensitive information that may be contained on these items and the need for secure erasure, we will accept them with your shipment when they are submitted with a purged load of other electronic devices as listed in question #10 above.

12. I HAVE QUESTIONS – HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?

We would love to help! Please send us an email or call (866) 290-7864