CAMBRIDGE- Computer researchers at the University of Cambridge came with a new study claiming that the “factory reset” options in most of the Android smartphones isn’t capable of completely removing the files residing on the device. Researchers were able to recover texts, images and in-app conversations from the second-hand devices.
Researchers conduct their research on 21 smartphones manufactured by the Google, HTC, Samsung, LG and few other brands. In all of these smartphones, the researchers successfully recovered the information stored on the devices after the reset. The recovery includes the Google account credentials, messages, in-app conversations, images, and emails that were sent and received on the device.
The research stated that each of the devices had some internal issues that didn’t let it wipe a part of the memory storing the recoverable information. However, the study reflected that out of the all, Google Nexus 4 performed exceptionally well in the tests, but still had issues in completely wiping off the information.
Some other devices including, HTC One, didn’t completely wiped the internal SD card. The option in the phone settings allows the user to make a complete wipe-off, but it didn’t perform as per that. There were images and app data residing on the SD card. Apart from that, Google has been blamed by the researchers for gradual upgrades and an irregular structure leading to such issues.
The research was not conducted on the iOS devices, however, there is no confirmation about whether they retain any data or not. Google and Apple both provide features to do the remote wipe in case the smartphone is lost; however, the study has brought its pitfalls to the surface. We aren’t sure how Apple stack up to this but is expected to do the complete wipe-off.
Android has always been in the news for such issues. Apart from this study, there have been few other investigations claiming that the information can be quickly recovered from the second-hand devices, whether it is to be an iOS or Android smartphone.