NAID study shows high presence of PII in resold electronics

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The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), Phoenix, has said a recent study shows that 40 percent of electronic devices resold in the secondhand market contained personally identifiable information (PII).

The association commissioned CPR Tools Inc., Fort Myers, Florida, to analyze the used devices, which included hard drives, mobile phones and tablets that previously had been deployed in commercial and personal environments.

While similar studies have been conducted, NAID says this study is unique insofar as the recovery process used to locate the data on more than 250 devices was, by design, not sophisticated nor was advanced forensic training required. All methods leveraged downloadable shareware.

Recovered PII included credit card information, contact information, usernames and passwords, company and personal data, tax details and more. While mobile phones had less recoverable PII at 13 percent, tablets had the highest amount at 50 percent. PII also was found on 44 percent of hard drives. In total, 40 percent of the devices yielded PII.