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Chain of Custody

Chain of Custody

Chain: a series of connected links.

Custody: Care, supervision, and control exerted by one in charge.

"Chain of Custody" is phrase with origins in the legal world.

For our purposes, it refers to the knowledge of the location of the electronic waste and who is in charge of it.

The simplest way to define "Chain of custody" is to say that it is a verifiable chronological record of where the equipment is located and a record of ownership.

Chain of custody requirements for e-waste processing generally are: 1) a timeline of the location of the e-waste; 2) identification of the current owner of the e-waste; 3) a record of how data was destroyed; and 4) how the e-waste was processed.

This information enables a customer that is having e-waste removed to accurately track its whereabouts and its status.

Chain of custody begins at the customer location and coincides at the time when the electronic waste recycling company takes possession of the used end of life equipment.

By taking possession of the used computers, the electronic waste recycling company assumes full responsibility for secure data destruction and for ensuring the electronic waste is processed in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Before the e-waste recycling company can begin to process the used equipment, a chain of custody protocol should be implemented.

The first step is for the recycling company to "tag" the used equipment as it is being transported. This is known by some companies as "serialization of assets". The serial number on the tag will match a unique serial number in the database that correlates the unit of used equipment with important data such as location, status and ownership.

The data will be continually updated as the used equipment is processed or remarketed.

In addition to chain of custody procedures, companies may also video surveil the equipment as it is being processed for recycling to insure compliance with laws and to avoid risk of theft.

To learn more about electronic waste or computer recycling please contact us.