University of Guelph study finds 50% of privacy violations with computer repairs by female customers

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 • 1:20 EST

If you’ve ever worried about the privacy of your sensitive data when seeking a computer or phone repair, a new study suggests you have good reason. It found that privacy violations occurred at least 50 percent of the time, not surprisingly with female customers bearing the brunt. The logs showed that technicians from six of the locations had accessed personal data and that two of those shops also copied data onto a personal device. Half the customers were male, and the other half were female. Devices belonging to females were more likely to be snooped on, and that snooping tended to seek more sensitive data, including both sexually revealing and non-sexual pictures, documents, and financial information. The researchers added documents, both sexually revealing and non-sexual pictures, and a cryptocurrency wallet with credentials. Researchers at University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, recovered logs from laptops after receiving overnight repairs from 12 commercial shops. As noted earlier, two of the visits resulted in the logs the researchers relied on being unrecoverable. ( Continue reading.

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