You know you are of a certain age if the acronym WORM immediately evokes CD-R in your brain. WORM stands for ‘Write Once Ready Many times’. In the early days of commercially available recordable CD media the drives were used as back-up devices competitive with 8mm DAT. Consumer systems lost the WORM name and became CD-R in around 1990, with the first rewritable CD-RW systems only introduced in 1997 and commercially viable in 1999!
Since then every sort of Flash memory storage has been rewritable to the point where it is hard to even think about a ‘write once’ architecture. Of course, there are inherent issues with such an insecure format – what if you want the information you are providing to remain exactly as originally captured for any variety of reasons?
Now Sandisk has developed a SD card format that supports WORM technology. According to their info page:
Using the SanDisk SD WORM card, law enforcement officers can create unalterable, permanent photographic records that serve as resources during investigations or as potential evidence during trials. Officers simply insert the card into an SD WORM-compatible digital camera and begin capturing images. Later, they can transfer the images to a computer while maintaining unchangeable originals on the WORM card – ensuring that the justice system has access to evidence of indisputable accuracy.
In an age when everything is suspect – singers rely on auto-tune rather than talent to hit the right note, models are routinely air-brushed in Photoshop, and on and on – the WORM SD technology provides a sense of irrefutable evidence. The initial use is for law enforcement, but with 100 years of life it is easy to see these being used for document storage and other semi-permanent media storage.