Utmost care taken to ensure personal data not compromised

We thank Mr Duncan Brown for his letter (E-waste recycling push raises concerns of personal data security; July 14) which provides us with this opportunity to address his concern.

Renew is a voluntary e-waste recycling programme by StarHub, DHL and TES.

As we work with site owners such as schools, malls, community clubs and offices on bin placement and maintenance, we aim to make e-waste recycling convenient, accessible and safe for the public.

The bins have been designed for the easy disposal of most e-waste devices, with a deep slide on the inside of the mouth to prevent people from reaching in and fishing out discarded gadgets.

In addition, bins are cleared upon reaching a certain capacity, to prevent unauthorised access.

Upon disposal, a proper sign-off process between the site owner and logistics partner is in place to ensure each bag of e-waste is sealed and tagged during collection before being transported to the recycling facility at TES on the same day.

The recycling plant is a secure facility where all data-bearing devices are destroyed beyond data recovery, through an industrial shredder. Other e-waste is manually dismantled into different waste streams, such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, printed circuit boards, plastics, where they are further recycled into feedstock through various methods.

In no part of the processes is there any data extraction.

StarHub, DHL and TES comply with all the relevant laws applicable to the Renew programme, including but not limited to the Personal Data Protection Act.

We share Mr Brown's view that taking care of the environment and protection of personal data should not be mutually exclusive and would like to assure him that we take the utmost care in ensuring that neither is compromised.

As everyone has a role to play in the broader e-waste management value chain in protecting our environment, it is equally important that individuals ensure that all personal data has been properly erased before used devices are sent for recycling.

Find out the locations of Renew bins at www.starhub.com/renew

Jeannie Ong (Ms)

Chief Strategic Partnership Officer

StarHub

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2018, with the headline 'Utmost care taken to ensure personal data not compromised'. Print Edition | Subscribe