Toxic data, as one recent definition states, is any data that has leaked out of an organization that might become harmful. Essentially, it’s important information that the company has lost control of. There are a wide range of types of data that can become toxic—from the personal data like a social security number, credit cards, or health care information, to corporate considerations, such as business plans, sales figures, or even product designs. Think of sensitive customer or corporate records and you have an idea of the type of data that could become “toxic” if it got into the wrong hands. For more perspective, read my recent IT Briefcase column on toxic data.