1 in 5 mobile device owners spilling secrets.

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Research sponsored by Sims Lifecycle Services has shown that organisations are still disposing of their gadgets without removing personal information. The findings, achieved when researchers screened a collection of second-hand phones and PDAs bought from on-line auction sites to determine what sensitive information they contained, come at a time when identity and data loss figure prominently in the media.

Conducted by the University of Glamorgan, its researchers bought 160 handheld devices and tested them to discover the types of sensitive information being discarded. The information recovered was startling, with Smartphones such as PDAs and Blackberrys offering up the most information about their previous owners. Almost half of these devices contained information specific enough that individuals or organisations could be easily identified, creating a substantial security threat to both that person or the organisations involved.

The results of information taken from standard mobiles phones also gave cause for concern. Over twenty per cent of those...

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