Last week, the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) published results from a large-scale study analyzing personally identifiable information (PII) found in publicly resold electronics. The study found 40 percent of the tested devices contained PII.

NAID commissioned CPR Tools, Inc. to test used tablets, hard drives and mobile phones for PII. This is the largest study NAID has ever conducted, and used basic shareware that can be downloaded from the Internet. The basic programs used to access this information raises questions about what hackers could accomplish with more sophisticated tools.

“NAID employed only basic measures to extract data; imagine if we had asked our forensics agency to actually dig.” Robert Johnson, NAID CEO, said. “40 percent is horrifying when you consider the millions of devices that are recycled annually.”

PII includes, but is not limited to, financial data n such as credit cards, bank accounts, and tax information, contacts, credentials to various apps and websites and other corporate and personal data. Tablets yielded the most PII, with 50 percent of tested devices containing information. PII was found on 44 percent of the tested hard drives and 13 percent of tested mobile devices.

NAID’s findings showcase the importance of buying and selling electronics through a certified electronics refurbishment and remarketing company. Certifications, such as R2, regularly audit businesses to ensure the best data erasure practices are used.

HOBI International, Inc. is an R2, RIOS, ISO 14001 and WBE certified electronics refurbishment, recycling and remarketing company. HOBI provides fully-documented data erasure and prioritizes client information security in each of our services.