Study: Second-hand phones often contain personal data

Around 54 percent of second-hand mobiles and SIM cards sold online retain traces of data such as PIN numbers, passwords and card details, according to security company CPP

Second-hand mobile phones often contain personal data, despite the attempts of owners to wipe devices before selling them on, according to data protection company CPP.

Just over half of second-hand mobiles and SIM cards sold online — some 54 percent — contained sensitive personal data, a study commissioned by CPP found. The fast-moving smartphone market encourages people to upgrade and sell on their old mobiles, increasing the risk of passing on personal data.

Information retrieved from second-hand mobiles and SIM cards included credit- and debit-card details, PINs, bank-account details, passwords, phone numbers, company information and logins to social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Private data is being passed on even though 81 percent of people surveyed said they had wiped their mobile before selling it.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see PINs, bank and card data left on second-hand mobiles on

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