Posted by: Clarinette | January 14, 2011

Digital Footprints Target for Thieves

While ago, I tried to bring the attention on patient medical files found in an abandoned mental hospital, St Ebbas Centre in Epsom, after I saw the pictures online. I did contact the office of the UK Information Commissioner with no success.
Tonight, listening live to the French Parliament’s public debates, I hear the sale authorisation of second hand medical equipments. As far as I know, as it has been confirmed to me on Twitter, these equipment are susceptible of containing patients medical records (X’Ray, MRI, patients names etc…).
Are my fears totally hypothetical? I have good reasons to think no.

I have previously pointed out the case of What photocopy machines can reveal
Quite recently, I have mentioned, what Vodafone has ‘lost’
You might remember the case of the engineer snooping data from laptop he was fixing See also ‘Laptop repair man jailed over theft of e-banking details‘ You know how much consumers are under pressure to get new handsets, give second hands to charities. Well, you should bare in mind that 50% of second-hand mobile phones contain personal data
These devices are becoming more and more sophisticated, clever and smart. We carry them everywhere and store all our data on them. My Friend Rebecca Herold just tweeted:
‘Your most dangerous possession? Your smartphone’
I am told by security experts that deleting data from digital devices are not impossible as such but not easy. Do not assume that by manually ‘deleting’ your data they are gone,
If by mistake you deleted your camera pictures, these data are retrievable. If you can do it, criminals can surely do it. These data are your name, address, phones, not only yours but also from your network, they can be your financial information. The have high value making to be monetised.
Do we always consider that aspect of security when we sell second hand devices?



  1. I could not agree more with the point you have made here. Most of the people act just too negligently with respect to their (personal) data.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by clarinette. clarinette said: Digital Footprints Target for Thieves – […]

  3. […] ‘Digital Footprints Target for Thieves‘ […]

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