Survey of data remaining on second hand memory cards in the UK

A. Jones, O. Angelopoulou, L. Noriega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


This study was an investigation into the level and type of information that remained on memory cards (SD, Micro SD) that were purchased from the second hand market in the UK in 2018. The storage capacity of memory cards has continued to increase in capacity at a rapid rate and had reached 512GB at the time of the study. Memory cards are now commonly used in a wide range of consumer devices, but are used, in the main, in mobile phones, tablet computers, cameras, Satellite Navigation (SatNav) systems, dashboard cameras (dashcams), drones and multimedia devices. This study was carried out on 100 s hand memory cards. The aim of the study was to determine the proportion of memory cards that still contained data and of those that did, what type of data they contained. The study also looked, where data was found, at whether any attempt had been made to remove it. The investigation showed that sensitive and personal data was present on 67 percent of the memory cards. While some of the memory cards showed evidence of attempts to remove the data, in many instances there was no such evidence to suggest that the seller had made any attempted to remove it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalComputers and Security
Early online date12 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Digital forensics
  • eBay
  • Flash memory
  • Memory cards
  • Residual data


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