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Second-hand hard-drives contain personal data

by on27 April 2012

UK Information Commissioner's Office worried

The UK Information Commissioner's Office is concerned that more than one in 10 secondhand hard drives sold or given away in Britain contains recoverable personal information.

The watchdog just released a study into the sale of second-hand hardware and warned consumers to take better care of their data. U.K. Information Commissioner Christopher Graham  said that too many think that if they press the delete button on a computer file means that it is gone forever.

His investigation found that 11 per cent of used drives being resold contained residual personal information. The figures also show that 65 per cent of people pass on their old phones, computers and laptops to other users – 44 per cent give equipment away for free while around one in five sell the hardware.

Sales of personal devices is more popular among young people, as the survey found that 31 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds sell their old mobile phones, computers or laptops to somebody else.
But most forgot to deleting their personal information.

"We live in a world where personal and company information is a highly valuable commodity. It is important that people do everything they can to stop their details from falling into the wrong hands," Graham said.

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