Wednesday, 16 November 2011

If you want a job done right

It's great when a phone company wants your business. Whether or not you're considering changing over, they offer nice perks. The latest company gave me an iPad and a playbook for a few days, to 'test out their network'. (Summary: the iPad is built better and more polished, but I love some of the playbook UI choices. After swiping from outside the screen to switch apps, double-tapping the iPad's home button felt clunky and wrong. But I digress.)

Before The Salesman handed over the iPad, he made a point of spending a few minutes clearing user data - it had just come from another company  Okay, he's not doing a secure wipe, but a quick wipe in each app is enough. At least they care about confidentiality.

This was the first sign they hadn't been thorough.

The best way to test out hardware is to buy miniskirts. Try it sometime. 
I've hidden one entry to protect The Salesman (who we might end up dealing with), but the search history is interesting regardless - mens fashion and porn. Later on I poked around to see if there was more.


I didn't investigate too much, but there's a good mix: email, mens clothing, ASX announcements, straight porn, gay porn, email again, and finally cruise ships. From this we can deduce he's an open minded young man who takes care of his looks, has a solid financial basis, and keeps track of his investments.

And since The Salesman didn't know how to clear all the pics, the man with the interesting browsing habits works with these guys:



It looks like he works in a car sales yard, but you can't tell much else. Most of the other key apps are clear of data, so the privacy violation should stop here.

Except the apps he installed require his account to upgrade.

This is getting awkward. The email is his full name including initials and there's only one guy in this city with that name. So that leads straight to his facebook account, which leads to his 500+ friends, his girlfriend, his family, and so on. I've never met this guy, but from an iPad he used for one day we can link his porn habits all the way back to his family and workplace, even after someone tried to wipe it.. Imagine what the phone you use every day has?

The moral of this story: Your personal data is important. Don't trust others to handle it for you if you can handle it yourself.
And Wipe your test devices when you're done with them. 




UPDATE:
Somebody pointed out that I hadn't checked to see if the photos had the GPS location they were taken stored. And hey, what do you know?
So in addition to everything else, we've been provided with the very building he works in. Awesome.

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