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LJWorld.com weblogs Common cents

Data sticks a common loss and found item

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CNN is carrying a story today about a man in New Zealand who recently found confidential U.S. military files on a used MP3 player he bought while in Oklahoma a year ago.That news comes at the same time the results of a survey conducted by Credant Technologies of Dallas were released. The data protection firm conducted the survey in the United Kingdom. Credant found that last year 9,000 USB computer data sticks were forgotten in people’s pockets as they took their clothes to dry cleaners. The sticks are used to transfer data from one computer to another.Credant conducted a similar survey last September among taxi drivers in New York and London and found that 12,500 handheld devices such as laptops, iPods and memory sticks were forgotten in the back of taxis every six months.Back to the London survey: One dry cleaner in the heart of the city said he gets an average of one USB stick every two weeks, and another said he found at least 80 last year.Other items found in clothes at the cleaners included Rolex watches, keys, money, credit cards and an envelope full of money.These devices being found by the wrong person opens the door, of course, to all kinds of security and identity theft problems.It should be noted that Credant will be exhibiting at April’s Infosecurity Europe 2009 in London, according to the firm's news release about the survey.

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