Data Privacy When Returning HDD


Unfortunately my trusty 2TB My Book has completely stopped working by what sounds like both a mechanical failure and a sector count issue. The device is still in the warranty period for an RMA replacement and, since I cannot afford to purchase a new one, I’m going to go about getting replaced.

Before I do so, does anybody know what WD’s privacy policy regarding data on the drive is? My drive had 2 purposes: as a lossless back up for my large CD, DVD and home photos collection, and as a back up for my work laptop. Obviously given the latter, there is a wealth of identifiable and sensitive information on the drive, including extensive financial details. I also have several reports and a diseration I am writing which I cannot risk getting out otherwise my course could accuse me (wrongly) of plagarism. 

How does WD go about assessing drives and will anybody have access to my data?

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When a drive is RMA’d the returned defective drives are pulled from the cases and stuck in machines that analyze the drive to see if it’s any good, while destroying the data at the same time.  If the drive is non-functioning the drive case is opened and the platters are pulled and destroyed. 

Personally, I wouldn’t have any problem sending my drive in for replacement, but that’s up to you.