Personal info abounds on used devices

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A stack of laptops and mobile devices.

A random sampling of second-hand electronics for sale around Wisconsin found significant amounts of data, including hundreds of pieces of personally identifiable information.

In a blog post on the site of cyber security firm Rapid7, company staffer Josh Frantz describes an experiment he carried out to gauge companies’ data erasure methods. Frantz, a senior security consultant at Rapid7, purchased 85 used devices, a mix of computers, removable storage devices, hard drives and cell phones, from 31 businesses near his home in Wisconsin. All told, the devices cost about $600.

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