Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has discovered that more than one in every ten second hand hard drives contains recoverable personal information of the original owner.
The ICO commissioned the NCC Group to conduct the investigation, who acquired 200 hard drives, 20 USB sticks and 10 cellphones from internet auction sites and at trade fairs.
The devices were then scoured for personal data with alarming results.
In the case of the hard disks, 11 percent contained personal information. According to the ICO report, 37 percent contained non-personal information, and only 38 percent of devices had been wiped. A further 14 percent of the drives were too damaged to be readable.
34,000 of the files examined contained personal or corporate information – including scanned bank statements, passports, birth certificates, employee information, full bank details, family photos, and tax and medical information.
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