Many used phones sold with personal data intact

When upgrading to that 750wx or Q, squeezing a few bucks out of that used handset always sounds tempting -- but we're guessing most folks would be thinking twice if they knew their address book was going with it. Security firm Trust Digital tested nine garden variety devices purchased off eBay for the presence of sensitive information and hit the jackpot on all nine, finding "personal banking and tax information, corporate sales activity notes, corporate client records, product roadmaps, contact address books, phone and Web logs, calendar records, personal and business correspondence, computer passwords, user medication information," and other juicy bits you may not have meant to pawn off to the highest bidder. The problem is apparently rooted in the average user's misunderstanding on the process necessary to hard wipe the device's flash memory; that is to say, your average reset simply isn't going to cut it. In particular, Trust Digital recommends that owners of RIM and Palm devices consult the manufacturers for instructions on how to kill the memory for reals -- either that, or you might want to consider throwing that next discarded Treo off a bridge.

[Thanks, Josh]