Technology market data shows that those who sell their old hard disks forget to remove their data from there.
An overwhelming percentage of hard disks sold on services like eBay seem to carry the data of their previous owners, which is surprising, since here we are dealing with photos, documents and other data that could be classified as sensitive.
Researchers from university institutions in collaboration with market research companies involved in the field of technology have found that 59% of the used hard disk drives on the market continue to have a form that can retrieve much of their previous user data. Researchers looked at 200 used hard disks, both in the US and in England, to reach that conclusion.
The figures are revealing, as in 26% of the cases the disks had been formatted but could be easily recovered, 17% had deleted data but could still be recovered, while 16% had been come out for sale with all the data normally stored on the disk, without any attempt by their former owner to delete them. Only about 26% of used hard disks for sale had been properly prepared for sale, with proper and definitive deletion of the data stored therein.
It is worth noting that within the used hard disks with a relatively easy recovery process researchers could find personal documents, passwords lists, tax information, lists of names as well as sensitive banking data. The conclusion of this research is that the personal data holders themselves do not seem to care as much as they should.