Factory reset options and data deleting systems appear to be failing to prevent subsequent users recovering potentially sensitive information.
Investgations of Android’s and Tesco Hudl’s data deleting procedure found significant amounts of information remained accessible. Tesco’s Hudl in particular was singled out as failing to protect previous users’ information. Recent research has also shown that Apple devices could be vulnerable to similar to similar probes into existing data on used tablets.
The BBC has conducted its research on various devices sold via online auction sites such as eBay, using easily obtainable software tools to access data.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “Customers should always ensure all personal information is removed prior to giving away or selling any mobile device. To guarantee this, customers should use a data wipe program”.
Tesco have ensured customers that any devices returned to them would be comprehensively deleted, but warned that they should exercise caution when re-selling their electronic devices independently.
The news will reinforce existing concerns about the dangers of protecting sensitive data, and should convince users of the need to take steps to ensure such information is permanently and irrevocably deleted.
Vice President of Global Marketing and Client Solutions at Teleplan, Sven Boddington, had this to say: “To say its worrying to find tablet devices are being sold with data still on them is an understatement. This is not the first instance, we’re constantly seeing this kind of story in the news”.