Personal data found on UK second-hand handsets by Channel 4

What you want is data sanitisation says Teleplan

Over here in Blighty [UK], it is pretty common practice to take old handsets down to High Street shops and cash them in. However, yesterday [February 6th 2014] a Channel 4 News ‘Data Baby’ report here found that handsets were being dold without all the personal data being wiped clean. It alleges that tow of the High Street’s best names – Cash Converters and CEX have been selling second-hand mobile devices without fully removing the data of the previous owner. This has led to calls from Teleplan for complete data sanitisation to be implemented by second-hand handset resellers.

One major concern, of course, is that with the increasingly widespread adoption of BYOD [Bring Your Own Device], some of this data might belong to businesses and organisations.

Obviously, there is a need for consumer education so consumers are encouraged to remove their personal data in the first place.

However, according to Sven Boddington, vp for global marketing & client solutions with Teleplan there is a responsibility on these companies to permanently remove data to the highest standards.

“To say its worrying to find two of the largest pawn shop chains are selling mobile phones with data still on them is an understatement,” Boddington argued.

“As consumers, we are becoming increasingly reliant on our mobile devices, from basic communications, social media, to mobile banking and payment transactions, and therefore the data they carry is more and more sensitive.”

He continued, “Businesses that process mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for use as second hand products have a responsibility to the sellers, and buyers of these devices to ensure that the proper security procedures are applied so that personal data is thoroughly and permanently destroyed.”

“It’s not good enough to delete the personal data to only a “basic standard” or worse still, not at all as there is an obligation to comply with data protection laws.”

“One way of doing this, is to meet recognised industry standards such as the Device Renewal Forum Certification Compliance criteria for Data Sanitization for mobile devices, ” Boddington commented.

About Hans Cett

Hans Cett is an established freelance author and consultant specialising in the mobile communications industry. He also writes for Countdown2MWC - http://countdown2mwc.wordpress.com/
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