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Permanent Data Removal FAQ



When I send my mobile device to you, who is responsible for the data on it?

Currently, UK law does not impose any rules on recyclers that they must destroy the data and it is you, the customer who is responsible for ensuring that you have deleted all the data within your mobile device before sending it off for recycling. Recyclers have no legal reason or need to ensure the data is deleted once they receive your mobile device.


Does  a factory reset/clear the data from the handset?

Regarding the majority of mobile device, No. It is worrying that a factory reset does not reset or clear the data from the mobile device as this type of reset will only delete the paths to the data on the phone. Therefore a factory, or hard reset, will only delete the path to the data but not the data itself.  


What about if I re-install the operating software or reload the firmware?

99% of mobile devices store the firmware, data, simlock information in separate locations within a flash chip known as solid state memory and consequently such reinstalling will only reinstall the operating software and no other areas are affected. This is the reason if you have a phone locked to a particular network reinstalling the firmware does not remove the sim lock as it is stored in a separate part of the flash chip. Again, as with factory resetting this only deletes the paths to the data.

“In reality”, it isn’t possible for an individual to perform a full removal of personal data from any smart phone or tablet using a mobile device’s inbuilt factory reset or by re-flashing the operating system. This is because contemporary mobile devices are fitted with solid state memory, which uses a technique called wear levelling to minimize data corruption and extend its lifespan by over-ruling instructions to permanently overwrite old data.


If the paths are deleted, how can the data be retrieved?

There are many “forensic data retrieval” software’s readily available such as Oxygen Forensics and Encase Forensic, (to name a couple) the prices for which have plummeted in recent years making them affordable to everyday fraudsters and criminals.  The process to retrieve the data is the same as that used by the police and other law enforcement agencies.


What data can be retrieved following a not permanent data deletion?

The following personal data can be retrieved from the mobile device even if a factory reset or the operating software has been reloaded.   

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Calendar
  • Phonebook
  • Contact Pictures
  • Speed Dials
  • Caller Groups
  • Web Connections
  • Incoming Call Information
  • Tasks
  • GEO Event Positioning
  • Passwords
  • Google Services
  • Spyware Detection
  • SMS, MMS, and Email Messages
  • Communication Statistics
  • Device Logs
  • Message Log
  • Timeline
  • Skype
  • Social Networks
  • Messengers
  • Web Browsers
  • Applications
  • Yahoo! Services
  • Customer Field Labels
  • General Phone Information
  • Notes
  • Incoming Outgoing and missed calls information
  • GRPS,EDGS, CSD, HSCSD and Wifi traffic and sessions log
  • Sent and received SMS, MMS, E-mail messages log
  • Deleted Messages information
  • Bluetooth Connection
  • SQLite Database Viewer


A well-known tech website (Wired) recently tested a number of mobile devices that belonged to their staff after asking them to wipe the personal data that was on them. Using forensic software they were able to recover emails, documents, photos, contacts, and a geographic history based on Wi-Fi access points etc. The natural question that follows is “So what can you do about this when you are ready to recycle or pass on your mobile device?” Alarmingly Wired concluded “not much” concluded.


Why has Bozowi decided to offer this service if you there is no legal requirement to do so?

Bozowi has been recycling mobile devices for corporate customers, financial institutions; local authorities and other organizations for over 10 years it was these clients that insisted that we do this as part of our service as over the years the amount of sensitive and confidential data stored in their mobile devices had considerably increased. 

Data being hacked from mobile devices and being used to commit fraud is now at an all-time high there have been countless high profile stories of consumer’s personal data being hacked and used to commit fraud.  Bozowi believe that permanent data deletion should be a top priority for anyone disposing of an old device and the reason we are now offering this service.


What is the risk if I do not Permanently Data Wipe my handset?

Advances in mobile technology mean that we use them for so much more than we used to and store passwords to banks, social networks etc.  Criminals could use this data to steal your identity, empty your bank accounts, hack your emails/your social network, know you exact movements etc. It’s like a criminal asking you whatever question they want and you providing all the answers without hesitation.

Criminals are queuing up to buy second hand phones simply to mine the mobile devices for data to help them commit fraud. Don’t be a victim we now have a solution to fight back.


How will I know you will actually delete my data?

When your mobile device reaches our facility, it is booked in using the serial number and a unique tracking ID will be assigned to it which remains with the mobile device for the duration of its time with our facility. As part of our service we offer a full audit trail from the time it reaches out facility to the time it leaves and all the processes it goes through whilst it is in our possession.  A record is kept which is available for you to view at any time within your Bozowi account which will detail the time we started the data wiping, how long it took and the time it ended, you will also be able to download a certificate of destruction which will contain all this information and much more.

If you consider your data to be extremely sensitive then we are able to travel to your premises to delete the data onsite to give you total piece of mind.  Also available is a secure collection service direct from your premises should this be something that you require.


What if I do not want to sell my mobile device to you, can I still use your service?

Yes. We offer our deletion only service to many corporate and enterprise clients who which to reuse the mobile devices within their organisation or give them to staff or simply donate them to charities.  Please contact us for prices in this respect as these vary depending on the type of handset and the quantity of mobile devices you have that need wiping.


I am a corporate / enterprise and we currently destroy all our mobile devices as we cannot risk our data falling into the wrong hands, what can you do for us?

You are going to be the types of business which this solution will help the most as now you can recycle your mobile devices with peace of mind and receive a return instead of a cost to destroy.  We can even visit you premises and carrying out the data wiping giving you total piece of mind and transforming your current disposal costs into additional revenue. Call and ask to speak to one of security advisors for more details.


Why should I be concerned? Surely you and the other reputable recyclers would recycle my mobile device professionally?

Firstly 99% of all handsets sent off for recycling are actually reused and not recycled in the true sense of the word.  No matter which recycler you use they will all re-sell your mobile devices to existing clients all around the world, once the mobile devices have left the recyclers possession, they have no control over what happens to the mobile devices.

If there is anything that you have every entered into your mobile device that you do not want others to be able to get their hands on then there is really no other option so you must PERMANENTLY delete the data so that it cannot be retrieved.


Are there any other suppliers of software which delete the data?

Yes. There are other suppliers which offer solutions to wipe the data off your mobile device, these are however merely shells which in effect do nothing more than factory wipe your mobile device.  Always check the small print if you are considering using an alternative supplier. The time and technical knowledge however needed to run these other solutions do not make them a viable option for the general public.


Are there any standards that the data is deleted to?

We totally destroy the data within your mobile device so that there is no possible way to retrieve the data, the wiping of the data exceeds military standards. Our solution will wipe all data from all mobile device platforms over and above Department of Defense 5220.22-M requirements and log the information.


How much will it cost?

We have a pricing structure which depends on the value of the handset. We charge a flat fee of £5.00 for mobile devices valued below £50.00, and for mobile devices valued at £50.01 or more we charge 10% of the value. For this fairly low cost, you will buy peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that all your personal data has been wiped to military standards and no matter who get their hands on your mobile device, they will not be able to get any of your personal information.