I talk and write about it often. It was the subject of my final project during my Masters studies. I even spoke about the topic at the RSA Conference in 2012. For years one of my many hobbies has been to acquire storage media devices that people have disposed of and review them to find out what they left behind. I find devices at yard sales, laying on the ground, auctions, storage units that have been sold at auction, and pretty much anywhere you can think of. They are not always the old 256mb worthless drives either, recently I found a very nice 16gb SanDisk for 50 cents at a yard sale. Below is a very small sampling of my collection.
I seem to be able to find two or three drives every couple weeks. Often these finds come with financial information, family photos, documents, bank statements, and of course nude personal photos. Unless you are living in a cave some where, in which case you are not reading this, you cannot turn your head without hearing about an identity theft or loss of data somewhere. Heck, I just saw a trailer for a movie called Identity Thief staring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, which looks hilarious by the way!
One would think with mainstream media and even Hollywood educating us everyday of the risks of identity theft, that everyone would be securing their devices or at best not keep sensitive data on them at all! Alas, this is not the case and in nearly every device I review I am able to find sensitive documents and images. In most cases simply by viewing it, rarely do I need to run any recovery tools to find them.
So until people figure out that they cannot simply toss or sell these items without proper sanitation, or encrypt them, or even better smashing them into little pieces rather then trying to get 50 cents, their precious documents and data will be used in ways they do not intend.
And Ashley, thanks for the naked pics.
John "Mike" Wright