Study Findings

In 2019, Stellar conducted the world's largest known lab study of 311 used devices comprising -hard drives, memory cards, and mobile phones- to determine the plausibility of finding residual data on these devices. This systematic study reveals that a majority of second hand devices irrespective of their source – resellers, individuals, or businesses— contained significant amount of residual data including PII, personal data, banking information, income tax records, online login credentials, and other sensitive information. The study report presents empirical evidence on these findings and the high-impact risks of data breach while disposing off used devices.

Devices Analysed & Data Found

Devices Analysed

Memory Card
Hard Drives

Data Found

Photos & Videos
Passport & Visa
Login Credential
Banking Details
Income Tax Filing
Business Contract

These are just some examples of the data left behind.

were vulnerable to Personal Data / PII leakage risks.

High Privacy & Security Risks

What Experts Says

"By employing NAID's principles to conduct the study, STELLAR has assured the results are accurate and the personal information found in the process was fully protected at all times."

Robert Johnson


"I hope this study finds its purpose to build awareness about the potential risk amongst all stakeholders including law enforcement agencies, regulators, consumers, data protection officers and professional information destruction providers. "

Sunil Chandna


Additional Resources


View More

Press Release

View More

NAID Study Principles

View More