Ashley Madison, Hillary Clinton, and Secure Data Destruction
It’s been a tough year thus far for Hillary Clinton and the Internet dating site Ashley Madison. While these two names would most likely never be uttered together in the same sentence under normal circumstances, they both have experienced similar woes this year in the form of lackluster data management.
Hillary Clinton and the Case of the Deleted Emails
In the case of Hillary Clinton, her legitimacy as a trustworthy presidential candidate was put into question this year when it was revealed that she used her personal email server for government-related business, and then allegedly attempted to hide the fact from investigators by “deleting” the suspect emails.
The problem in Hillary Clinton’s case is that it remains unclear whether members of her team simply deleted the emails or wiped the servers clean of the data. There is a difference, although Clinton and her top brass seemingly don’t understand it. When asked during a press conference whether or not the server was wiped, Clinton answered, “What, like with a cloth or something?”
Congress ruled that Clinton turn over her servers on March 19, 2015 for further inspection. At the time, Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, wrote that “no Clinton emails during her tenure at the State Department reside on the server or on any back-up systems associated with the server.” Kendall repeated the statement again in August, stating that the server “no longer contains data from Clinton’s email account.”
With the FBI continuing its investigation, the issue is now becoming less about the content of the emails, and more about determining whether or not the server was wiped or interfered with. The longer the investigation goes on without finding recoverable data, the more likely it is that the server was intentionally wiped clean.
Ashley Madison and the Case of the Full Delete Failure
The notorious “dating” website, AshleyMadison.com, was the victim of a major hack this year in which the hacker released the full list of the site’s members, most of which happen to be married males using the site’s services to find partners for affairs.
After the data was breached and the list released to the public, the website’s owners found themselves facing a litany of lawsuits totaling more than $500 million in claims. The reason? Because Ashley Madison had sold their members a “full delete” service that was supposed to ensure their information was kept private and secure. After the data breach, however, it was discovered that Ashley Madison’s full delete service was essentially the same as the site’s “hide my profile” function. In other words, the data was never effectively erased.
It’s ironic that these cases mirror each other in a way. Clinton claims her data was deleted, but the truth is leaning more toward the servers being wiped. Meanwhile, Ashley Madison promised its users full delete data security but in the end only hid it from public view.
Knowing the Difference Between Deleting and Wiping Can Help Save Your Business Millions
With October being National Cyber Security Month, there’s no better time than now to review your data management strategy. If you operate a business or organization that deals in any capacity with data, then having a strong data management system in place and understanding the difference between deleting and wiping is crucial to ensuring you’re in compliance with all federal mandates and industry guidelines. As Ashley Madison discovered, the cost of a data breach can be devastating.
If you’re looking to partner with a reliable provider of secure data destruction, call or email Liquid Technology today. We can be reached toll-free at 1-800-797-5478. Don’t risk your reputation–protect your business and your customers by ensuring your data is completely wiped.