A global data security study conducted by Blancco Technology Group and Kroll Ontrack has found substantial amounts of past owners’ data on refurbished electronics sold through Amazon, eBay and Gazelle.com. This study emphasizes the need for proper data erasure techniques when refurbishing electronics.
Blancco and Kroll Ontrack analyzed 122 secondhand devices, including hard drives, solid state drives and mobile devices that were purchased between May and August 2015 in the U.S., Germany and the U.K. These devices contained residual data such as leftover emails, call logs, text messages, photos and videos. Some of the leftover data was specific enough to identify the past user.
It is suspected that past users attempted to delete their own information from these devices, but did not understand that simply deleting the file does not remove all traces from that device. When the past owner resold their device, the vendor did not use proper data erasure techniques. With the amount of sensitive information potentially stored on these devices, it is scary to think what could happen if these used devices fell into the wrong hands.
When selling your past mobile device to a refurbisher, be sure to pair with a licensed electronics recycling company who uses the best practices. HOBI International is a R2, RIOS, ISO-14001 certified electronics recycling who provides the best practices in electronics refurbishment and remarketing. HOBI practices top-notch data erasure techniques before we refurbish devices to ensure the previous owner’s’ personal information remains anonymous and secure.