Second-Hand Storage Devices Offer a Trove of Personal and Business Info

Tara Seals

Buying second-hand data storage devices, like remote hard drives, is a fairly common practice—but all too often, those devices contain traces of data that enterprising new users can recover fairly easily.

To analyze the issue, Kroll Ontrack purchased 64 drives from various sources over eBay (from private sellers/consumers in the US, Germany, France, Italy, the Asia-Pacific region, Poland and the UK). It looked at whether the used drives had been successfully wiped clean or still contained any traces of data. The study found that traces of data remained on 30 drives (47%), while the remaining 34 drives had been successfully cleaned (53%).

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