A 2011 investigation into remnant data on second hand memory cards sold in Australia

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University


Dr Andrew Woodward and Professor Craig Valli


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Centre (secAU)




This article was originally published as: Szewczyk, P. S., & Sansurooah, K. (2011). A 2011 investigation into remnant data on second hand memory cards sold in Australia. Paper presented at the Australian Digital Forensics Conference. Perth, Western Australia. Original article available here


The use of memory cards is widely used in numerous electronic devices including tablet computers, cameras, mobile phones and multimedia devices. Like a USB drive, memory cards are an inexpensive and portable persistent storage solution. Numerous manufactures are incorporating a memory card interface into their product, allowing for a large array of confidential data to be stored. This research aimed to determine the sensitivity, type and amount of data that remained on second hand memory cards post sale. In 2011, over an eight month period, 119 second hand memory cards were randomly purchased from eBay Australia. The findings from the research show that individuals utilise memory cards to store highly sensitive and confidential data, and as per similar previous studies, continually neglect to permanently destroy the data prior to sale.

Access Rights

Open Access