Toshiba today announced it has developed a new technique, dubbed Wipe, that will make self-encrypting drives even more secure by automatically erasing data upon removing them from a system or when the system itself is powered down. Needless to say, this is not something that would make its way into consumer PCs. The company is targeting it at high-security environments and for rented or other equipment that is due for return, sale or disposal.

Wipe can be used to secure data on office machines, such as copiers and printer systems with storage devices on board, that retain a good deal of sensitive data. The technology works simply by invalidating the security key used to encrypt data on the drive when the power supply is interrupted, instantly making all content unreadable. The approach is much simpler to accomplish than overwriting a hard drive with zeroes or extracting it from the device and degaussing it.

No mention has been made of when or how Wipe would be implemented on hard drives, though it's likely to be limited to Toshiba's self-encrypting hard drive models for now.