O&O Software finds patient files on used hard disks

The results of a study by O&O, published today, show that there are still serious problems with both private and business users' handling of secure data deletion and the resultant data protection issues. For example, complete patient data and correspondence were found on a hard disks that had once belonged to a health insurance company. The study analyses the causes of this careless attitude and point to ways of protecting sensitive data.

Berlin, 14. April 2004 - The O&O Software GmbH today published a study on data protection on used hard disks with the title "Data, Data Everywhere". This study is concerned with the question of whether users securely delete data before selling on or giving away their hard disks. These data carriers are either sold individually, given away with the PC or are returned to commercial leasing companies. For the study, 100 used hard disks and other data carriers were purchased on the internet auction site eBay and subsequently examined to see if data were present and restorable.

The analysis showed that only 10% of the hard disks had been properly and completely wiped with the help of software products. The rest all contained private data in all shapes and forms, from scanned signatures and ID cards to legal powers of attorney, account access information and PIN and access code lists.

Download: Study "Data, Data Everywhere" as PDF document

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News source: 0&0 Software

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