Electronics recycling firm ERS International, Toronto, says one of its facilities is on track to be the first plant to be certified by the Device Renewal Forum (DRF), an organization based in Costa Mesa, Calif., that focuses on the secure and safe handling of used smartphones and mobile devices.
DRF says its goals as a certifying body include:
- Ensuring that “quality” renewed devices enter the marketplace;
- Establishing an expected quality level for renewed devices and an expected minimum level of compliance for the renewing processes;
- Specifying a rigorous approach for evaluating renewed devices; and
- Promoting industry and public awareness of a “gold-standard” renewal certification.
Supporting and seeking DRF certification offers many positives to ERS International and the industry overall, says Rick Fine, global director of business solutions for ERS International. “A DRF sticker on all of our resold devices will mean the phone is not stolen; previous data has been absolutely wiped free; and the phone works for the new owner and it has a certain cosmetic value or appearance,” says Fine.
He adds that the data security aspects are a particularly important part of DRF certification. “A factory reset of a device is not enough,” he comments, “and it is a potential terrible liability for service providers. People now bank on their cell phones, and you want to make sure that data is destroyed.”
In addition to ERS International, other DRF members include Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Brightstar Corp., Blancco US LLC, ecoATM and ReCellular.
DRF says the used devices eligible to be certified through its system will include “all types of wireless devices (feature phones, smartphones, modems, etc.) powered by each of the major technologies (e.g., GSM, CDMA2000 1X, EV-DO, WCDMA and LTE).”