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February 14, 2013

Speaker: Dr. Tim Storer, Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Title: Gathering Residual Data in the Wild: Some Results, Implications and Applications

Abstract: Secondary markets for digital storage devices are enormous. Every day, many thousands of second hand devices are discarded, sent for recycling or sold at auction. These devices often contain a wealth of information concerning their former owners, their associates and their digital behaviour. This information can be of interest to researchers for several reasons, for example:

  • It can provide insights into the extent of privacy and information security risks of residual data on second hand devices;
  • It can provide insights into how people really behave with their devices, rather than how they say they behave; and
  • It can provide realistic, large scale, test sets of real world data, for testing software based systems.

In this talk, I will describe some of the experiments we have undertaken at Glasgow when working with residual data. I will describe the different domains and methods we have used to gather data, as well as the different uses we have put the data to. I will also discuss some of the legal ethical challenges encountered when working with residual data sets.