Critical Data Destruction Advisory

CD ROM, Inc Issues Critical Data Destruction Advisory for Corporate Information and Security Managers

Lack of Information and Technology Lead to Unsafe and Inadequate Digital Document Destruction

Minneapolis, MN – May 11, 2004, (Business Wire) CD ROM, Inc, today issued an advisory regarding safety and security issues surrounding the proper and auditable destruction of digital data stored on CD-ROMs and DVDs. The advisory comes on the heels of a recent telecast demonstrating a CD being destroyed in a microwave oven. The complete document can be found at

The telecast in question explored a number of options for destroying CDs and DVDs demonstrating current consumer devices and one commercial grade device. The show also portrayed a tongue-in-cheek method using a microwave oven. The danger presented in the piece is that by micro waving or incinerating an optical disc it will produce a poisonous cyanide gas.

Confusion surrounding the destruction of CDs and DVDs stems from a lack of understanding and the absence of clear standards. Most of this confusion is directly related to the enormous amount of data that is written to these optical discs and the chemical and structural design of the discs. Documents and sensitive information stored on CDs and DVDs represent a significant management challenge by the fact that a CD ROM is in essence a three and a half mile long string of information and just a small fraction of an inch of disc space can contain the equivalent of a ream of paper.

The increased focus on privacy issues and corporate security are being discussed in the media and by information and security administrators in both the private and public sector. Government regulations also dictate that certain documents are subject to strict management of their retention and destruction. This increased focus has been showcased in high profile court cases such as the Enron investigation.

The only standard that currently exists is the de facto one used by the US Department of Defense and designed by CD ROM, Inc. The Department of Defense standard is that information stored on optical discs must be ground from the disc to a particle no larger than .250 microns or the rough equivalent of a spec of talcum powder. This standard is also the one that more and more organizations are specifying in their bidding process to manage the proper destruction of their information stored on optical discs.

While a clear standard has yet to be adopted, government regulations such of HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxely, Grahm Leach Bliley and the Economic Espionage Act along with individual company best practices, dictate strict compliance with regard to the destruction of data stored on optical discs.

“We’ve been developing CD ROM technology since its inception and hold a number of patents in the technology,” said Roger Hutchison, Ph.D., CEO of CD ROM, Inc. “It was exciting for us to continually increase the capacities and efficiencies of CD technologies, but then we went from ‘Look what we can do’ to ‘Oh my god what have we done?’” Hutchison continues, “Make no mistake, CD ROM and DVDs are tremendous devices that give us incredible efficiencies, but they also demand that they have the same life cycle management capabilities of any other form of documentation.”

The destruction of printed documents and digital documents stored on computer hard drives have spawned billion dollar industries, but the proper and legal destruction of CDs and DVDs remains in its infancy.

ABOUT CD ROM, Inc. and D3, Inc.

Located in Eden Prairie, MN, CD ROM, Inc is the oldest privately held optical technology company in the world specializing in the creation, duplication and destruction of optical storage media. The company holds several patents surrounding the creation of CD ROMs as well as the baseline technology patents for the adequate destruction of optical data storage discs. The company is ISO 9002 compliant. Founded in 1988 by Roger Hutchison and Lisa Weber Hutchison, the company has pioneered technologies surrounding optical media and was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of its fastest growing companies in 199X and 199X. Dr. Hutchison is one of the few recognized experts in the field and has lectured around the world on optical technologies.

D3, Inc. is a newly formed corporation owned by the same principals as CD ROM, Inc. with equity investment options for third parties. The company was established to fully exploit the large market opportunity for products and for digital data destruction technologies and services. Located in Iron River, WI, D3 is the first and only service bureau established in the US and abroad designed specifically to destroy digital data. The service bureau includes CCTV surveillance, controlled employee access, staffed Notary Public and professionally certified employees, and itemized certificates of destruction for your records.


Roger Hutchison, Ph.D.
CD ROM, Inc.
Tel: 952-832-5424

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