Context: I want to store data in digital format, and then destroy it. Let for the moment put physical destruction of the drive (hammer/degausser) aside.
Question: which non-volatile drives will be most suitable for storing the data so that it can then be completely destroyed? Note: crypto-shredding isn't enough, I want to erase the encrypted data as well. These are to be chosen between USB, HDD, SSD, SD.
What I think that this choice should break into:
EDIT A: I strongly prefer open-hardware (and an open-source firmware, so that I know what it's doing).
First thing to do is choose a type of disk.
Benefits of SSD over USB/SD: some useful ATA instructions for data erasure should be implemented by the manufacterer.
Drawbacks of SSD: ATA instruction might be wrongly implemented by the firmware.
Benefits of HDD over SSD: digital sanitize the drive by physically writing over every block, and this wouldn't rely on a possibly wrong implementation of ATA instructions by the manufacturer.
Drawbacks of HDD over SSD: Sanitization by the OS might be ineffective because of inaccessible areas of the drive (see end of page 7 and beginning of page 8 in ). Also, in case of an external drive connected to the USB port, ATA instruction might have a hard time being delivered: From :
some "intelligent" interfaces such as USB or firewire to PATA/SATA bridges, SAS controllers or hardware RAID controllers may try to reset devices which they have decided are no longer responding. WARNING: Do not attempt to do this through a USB interface!
- Benefits of SSD over HDD: The ability to self-encrypt.
Second thing to choose is the manufacturer.
Depending on the choice of the type of disk, in case the firmware is non-opensource hence non-verifiable, the manufacturer should either implement correctly all useful ATA commands (trim, sanitize, secure erase, opal, ATA Password, enhance security erase) and their verification in case we're relying on ATA instructions for sanitization, or the properties of the disk make sanitization by physical rewriting effective in case we rely on this method.
EDIT B: In both cases, particular attention should be given to hidden data areas like the host protected area (HPA) and device configuration overlay (DCO), spare sectors, all drive firmware settings etc, especially in case wear leveling is implemented by the firmware.
Third: Verify that sanitization is completed successfully
The drive should enable to user to verify that the sanitization process (of the data, even in encrypted form) is successfully completed.
 https://cmrr.ucsd.edu/_files/data-sanitization-tutorial.pdf  https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase  https://tinyapps.org/docs/ata_sanitize_hdparm.html  https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/qubes-users/A1-MiQwR7D4/8RPw7nWjAQAJ  http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=1214#p5839  https://tinyapps.org/docs/wipe_drives_hdparm.html