During a recent survey of smartphones and PDA's being sold on eBay, a security software company called 'Trusted Digital' found that a large majority of these devices still contained personal information from their previous owners.
In certain cases, the data on the device was completely "as-is" and appeared to not have been erased at all. In other cases, the data was 'reset' but not fully erased, allowing someone with basic technical skills to retrieve the original proprietor's information. Data on these devices included banking information, credit card numbers, and even highly confidential investor and corporate data.
Many of these devices offer what is termed "hard reset" options. The Treo 650 and the Blackberry, both supported at NYU, have these features built into each device. Moreover, many smartphones and PDA, including the Treo 650 and Blackberry, have password protection capabilities, affording for added security.