Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

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Joined: Jun 18 2015
Posts: 135

OK, this is my tirade. I go to Goodwill. I always see floppy disk holders, but no floppy disks. I might see 6-10 holders a trip. So, I ask were is the disks that go in the holders. I was told that they are all thrown away. The manager said that they are thrown away because they might have sensitive information on them. I was thinking if they were donated, would that not remove any liability? I always see sim cards left in phones. Memory cards left in cameras. Not to mention all of the USB sticks. Even printers have built in memory. I was truly appalled at that answer. Is it like that at all locations?

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Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

It's a valid reason. And I don't believe it removes liability. Better safe than sorry.

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CWJ_Wilko's picture
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Joined: Jun 3 2015
Posts: 269
Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

As Keatah says, it's better safe than sorry. Here in Australia our thrift stores (we don't call them that) usually dump entire systems for the same reason, it's extremely rare to see any kind of computer hardware on the shelves.

It pains me as a collector (or 'custodian', as I've been called) to see media thrown away like that, but it's impossible for these operations to know what is on these disks, and whether the donator is fully aware (or even rightfully in control) of the data.

Looking at it from another perspective, I've received several hundred disks from eBay and family members over the past few years, and the amount of personal data that is left on these disks is a little frightening.

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Joined: May 23 2013
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Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

Beyond personal information, it could have legal / illegal, pornogrpahic, etc. on them. I would be hesitant to sell unknown media.

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Joined: Jun 18 2015
Posts: 135
Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

Well, my main point was they target floppy disks. I often see other forms of media, which have a lot higher levels of capacity being sold all the time. I just thought it was silly to throw away all of the floppy disks, but leave sim cards in phones, USB cards, and other forms of recordable media in the store.

CWJ_Wilko's picture
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Joined: Jun 3 2015
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Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

I agree - if it applies to floppy disks, it should apply to other types of media as well. This is definitely the case where I live.

cbmeeks's picture
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Joined: Jan 17 2005
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Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

I also agree that it if applies to floppies, then apply to all media. I mean, VHS cassettes could have "home movies" recorded over them. Do they visually inspect every VHS tape to make sure they're legit?

I tell you want really upsets me. At my local recycle center there is a bin for "e-waste". Most of the time, it's full of old office phones, desk-jet printers, etc. Crap I don't want.

But sometimes, there are old PC's in there (which I collect) or even old game consoles.

I asked the guy one time if I could take a few of those. Even offered to pay something for it. But he said no because "the hard drives contain sensitive information".

Anything that is a "computer" is also a "hard drive". So, that big metal box that contains the hard drive, floppy drive, sound cards, etc.? That's actually a "HARD DRIVE". I tried explaining to him that not all electronics have hard drives. And even if they did, I would remove the ACTUAL hard drive and just take the computer. Which has no identifiable information on it. Nope. Not allowed.

Ugh.

One day...I saw a Sega Genesis in there. Another time I saw an NES Advantage joystick. Sure glad that was recycled so that the "hard drive" containing credit card numbers on that Sega Genesis and NES joystick is now protected.

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Joined: May 12 2016
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Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

Where I live, there's a "ReStore" where people can donate unwanted things that still have value, usually stuff for the home.

There's also an enormous e-Waste recycling truck that they leave open during business hours, and a clipboard where you put your name, phone number and the stuff you're dropping off. Not a soul around - you can help yourself to whatever is in there.

So in this case, if you leave a hard drive or SIMM card in your e-Waste? It's on YOU - nobody is checking.

I never see anyone taking stuff out of there, but there are always dozens of computers in the pile, and I'd bet many of them have the hard drives in there. I should check next time.

That guy you talk about, cbmeeks, sounds like (to quote a popular sitcom) a petty functionary with a clipboard, and you should have just ignored him. He probably wanted the stuff for himself. What would he do, call 911?

"Um, the guy took something out of the garbage can that looks like a Nintendo joystick."

*click*

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Statsman1

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Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?
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Joined: Jan 15 2011
Posts: 75
Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

It is so awkward trying to post an image on this site, especially on this tiny phone screen. So just imagine the picture I took a few moments ago of 150+ 5.25 floppies, here at the Goodwill Outlet store. Alas... PC.

[edit: got home and loaded pics to link below]

Pics

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Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Goodwill - Why no Floppy's?

Yeh I still forget how to post images here, oh well..

Anyways, these recycling companies and donation companies have to write rules a 4th grader can follow. That is the level at which some of their employees operate at.

They're not going to be secure wipe operations on anything.

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