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Old 12-19-2006, 12:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Help! Replacement 8703e with Previous Owner's Data Still On It. Must Relinquish Mine?

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Help! Verizon sent me a replacement 8703e with the previous owner's private data still on it. Plus now Verizon wants me to relinquish my broken, unwiped original 8703e. What to do?

Verizon Wireless sent me a reworked, second-hand 8703e, or "Field Replacement Unit" (FRU) 8703e, to replace my 8703e that melted down after just 60 days use. Yet the Verizon replacement arrived -- and this I find alarming -- with the previous owner's private data STILL ON IT.

From the previous owner, the 8703e still contained:
* Two active -- and quite accessible -- email accounts. One a yahoo e

* All the emails of those accounts

* All her personal contacts

* All her calendar events for October and November, 2006

* All her logged calls

* All other data, unwiped.


Imagine a stranger having full access to everything on your BB! Think of the access that individual would likely attain from it to other parts of your life.

I find this alarms, shocks, and chaps the hell out of me on so many levels. I strongly believe in the protection and safeguarding of individuals private information. Yet, Verizon has allowed this infringement to occur.

It seems quite easy to envision how this occurs all the time. Perhaps even as the norm, not the exception.

An aside: I had hoped I would not report a "Part 4" to my Verizon 8703e woes. No luck. For backstory, read post: 397864.

Another aside: one painful part, this fricking switchover of my account has not occurred successfully on the FRU 8703e. Verizon has left me with a crippled, only-half functioning data networked device.

What I have done with the unwiped 8703e:
* First, I made a full backup of the previous owner's 8703e data.

* Wiped clean the phone, reinstalled BB OS so I could get it working and use it. (Still not fully data enabled, even after 2 hours with Tech Support.)

* Contacted Verizon Tech. and notified them they irresponsibly sent me the previous owner's private data, told them her name, and told them I intended to contact her and inform her about Verizon's carelessness.

* Took the full back up and emailed it to the previous owner (on her yahoo account) and notifed her of how Verizon had compromised her privacy. I included some plain text examples, to authenticate her private information about which I wrote. I also strongly encouraged her to contact Verizon and drop the hammer on them (hell, contact an attorney).


Question: What more should I do?


But HELP! Here enters my dilemma on this:
* I now have two 8703e's, my initial broken one, and the FRU one. Verizon now expects me to ship MY original phone back to them. It had a hardware malfunction, seemed to meltdown. It does not respond to anything, and that includes the ability to ERASE MY OWN PRIVATE DATA within it. I cannot wipe it clean if I must return ship it in exchange for the FRU one.

* This private data of mine includes: my personal contact information, communications, calendars, and records, not to mention confidential and private information about my clients. Once they repair it, they would likely have full access to it.

* Plus, as demonstrated with the replacement phone Verizon sent me, Verizon does not seem like it would hesitate to send it on to some other customer. With my private data..


Question: What options do I have?
* The way I see it: there's no way in hell I can send my phone to them if they cannot wipe the memory. Especially due to the client privacy issues.

* But, I do not want to eat the cost with which Verizon will slap me if I keep both. I don't even know how much that would run.


Thanks
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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andrew thanx for the alarming post. it looks like none of the gurus are out and about just keep bumping this post to the top. I do not have the answer, however the gurus will!! maybe they will be able to help you wipe the data from your BB. hang tight
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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also it does scare me that a company that large would be that irresponsible. the damage you could do with the info they gave you. luckily most, not all, BB owners are like you. CONCERNED!
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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kayos72: Thanks for the positive feed back, I appreciate it.
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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seriously that scares the crap out of me on my bb I have bank account numbers 5 accounts, all my personal data its scary they would do this. Thanx for being a stand up individual and doing the right thing.
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Glad to report that the original owner of the FRU 8703e had just responded to my contact email to her.

She says she, too, is shocked that Verizon did this, and did not delete her information from the device. Says she plans to contact Verizon tomorrow and address what has happened, which sounds like a smart move to my ears. She said thank you for bringing this to her attention, which I felt happy to do.

Off to sleep...
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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bump
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, it's a sad state of affairs, but if you have personal data on your broken 8703e that MUST NOT be compromised, I think your only safe option is to take a sledgehammer to it and eat the cost. Do you really trust Verizon to properly wipe it, no matter how much they may assure you they will?

You may also try to insist they send the same unit back to you after repair (write down the ESN before you send it out). However I doubt they would commit to this, it is simply not their normal workflow.

I'll admit that this is speculation, but I highly doubt Verizon or RIM will attempt repair of your broken unit if it is a hardware failure. It is simply not cost effective to repair most consumer electronics these days.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would contact their support group and tell them you're concerns after having received one full of information.

As a last resort if you have to send it back maybe expose it to some magnetic fields that might currupt the data? (Stick to to a big old speaker magnet overnight?) I don't know if that will work but it might be worth a try.
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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bvandrasik: I begin to come to grips that I cannot send my original, inoperable 8703e to Verizon unless I can confirm I have wiped and erased its contents. To return this device -- let alone any data populated, unwiped device -- to the vendor seems to leave me and my clients' private information far too vulnerable for someone's misuse or abuse.

The sledgehammer, as you suggest, or the parts shelf may remain the least worse option here. Sad.

I become quite interested to hear what Verizon will say about this conundrum. In particular, if I refuse to return the original broken 8703e, and opt to keep the second-hand FRU 8703e too, I wonder how they will respond.

If Verizon attempts to charge me for the FRU 8703e as an additional purchase, how much will they say I must pay? The same amount as a brand new 8703?

If that becomes the case, it would seem foolish to even consider keeping the second-hand FRU 8703e; I can turn around and buy an actual brand new 8703e, instead. I would wipe clean the FRU 8703e, since, with it, I actually can wipe it clean and feel confident none of my private information remains contained in it, and ship that back to them.

Yet, I would feel surprised if Verizon could charge me the same amount for the FRU 8703e as a new one. First of all, it's pre-used, second-hand. Second, the FRU phone arrives to a customer with NOTHING but the phone. It comes with:

* No accessories, holster, box, charger, etc.

* No CD-ROM software.

* No manuals. No instructions. No guides.

* No battery. (You must swap the one out of the broken phone and use it in the FRU phone. Gosh, sure better hope a faulty battery didn't contribute to your meltdown malfunction.)

* Not even a back cover to the phone! Again, Verizon expects you to use the one from your broken phone. (Does anyone else find this absurd?)

* But wait, it did come with one instruction. On the Customer Receipt that came within the box, it read, "Please refer to the yellow brochure titled 'Important Information Needed to Activate You Phone' for step-by-step instructions." However, no yellow sheet of instructions, let alone any sheet of instruction, came in the box. Instructions to no instructions?


So, to think that Verizon would attempt to charge the same retail amount for this would surprise me. Or rather, let me say it would strike me as unjustified.

How much might they attempt to charge me? Does anyone on the BBForums have a good guess as to what, if anything, Verizon could justify to charge me for this? A good guess of the value of a second-hand, FRU 8703e?

It makes wonder though, on the hypothetical chance that Verizon would attempt to charge me the full retail price of a new 8703e, what does that say about the value of it warrantee? Meaning, if your phone breaks with all your info still on it, and you refuse to risk compromising your privacy by sending it to them for repair or replacement, then that leaves you with no option but to eat the cost of buying a new device. Which suggests that the warrantee becomes worthless, to my eyes.

Or, have I missed something here?

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveRoss
I would contact their support group and tell them you're concerns after having received one full of information.

As a last resort if you have to send it back maybe expose it to some magnetic fields that might currupt the data? (Stick to to a big old speaker magnet overnight?) I don't know if that will work but it might be worth a try.
The magnet method would only work with magnetic media, ie. tape...even with a hard drive you would have to have such a huge magnet you might have to go to the crane at the junk yard. I believe our blackberries have solid state disks which to my knowledge cannot be erased by a magnet.

Good luck with your efforts, but like posted above, the only viable solution may be the sledgehammer erase method and eating the cost, in the long run the cost would be worth it.
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowe
Good luck with your efforts, but like posted above, the only viable solution may be the sledgehammer erase method and eating the cost, in the long run the cost would be worth it.
I agree, the cost of eating it would seemed far less than the potential cost of handing my private information to strangers, unprotected, and with no legal recourse if abused.

Interesting. In software development, we sign non-disclosure agreements with clients to protect their privacy. In medicine, we have doctor-patient confidentiality to protect the patient's. In law, we have attorney-client priviledge for the client's. In corporations, we also bind ourselves to non-disclosure agreements when employed.

But nowhere have I seen a wireless provider include in its contract anything close to addressing confidentiality nor privacy. Nowhere have I seen that it will safeguard my private information xor champion my confidentiality. I'm their client, their bread-and-butter, to the tune of over $1300/year for the network alone, hardware aside. Perhaps with such high demand utilities, reality dictates their loss without it becomes insignificant to their bottom line.

The skeptic in me says, "Maybe I should begin encryting EVERYTHING digital. Chop, chop!"

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Old 12-19-2006, 02:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowe
The magnet method would only work with magnetic media, ie. tape...even with a hard drive you would have to have such a huge magnet you might have to go to the crane at the junk yard. I believe our blackberries have solid state disks which to my knowledge cannot be erased by a magnet.

Good luck with your efforts, but like posted above, the only viable solution may be the sledgehammer erase method and eating the cost, in the long run the cost would be worth it.
Yep, you are correct. Well I guess we're down to the sledgehammer option. It's a shame a company has that little concern for peoples privacy.
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Okay, time for a quiz!

Question: How much will Verizon charge you for a second-hand, reworked 8703e if you refuse to return the broken original 8703e?

Anyone? Anyone?

The Answer: Full retail price. $469.

Thanks for playing.
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Have you tried using JavaLoader to wipe the 8703e? Even if the display is functioning, it might be possible to wipe the device. Look for JL_Cmder by d_fisher. That will make it very easy for you.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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andrew did you get anywhere on this. I would like to know the solution for future reference. PM me or pin if you are using the new phone!!!
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I think you have to take it back to a retail outlet and deal with the manager. Unless you are sure it can be wiped or they wipe there. Did you pay with a CC. Maybe you can still charge it back or make a warranty claim.
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This whole situation really sucks. I guess this is one more reason to make sure we put a password on the BB. According to my BB Rep, this can;t be broken without wiping the handset and if you enter the wrong Password 10 times it wipes it automagically.

Andrew - Please let us know what happens in the end.

Dan
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I use a place called BBRepair.com and have sent Blackberries to be repaired by them with data on it. They have called me and asked what I wanted done with the data. I told them to wipe it. You could send your Blackberry off to them to get repaired or at least see how much it would cost to get it repaired. They might even be able to wipe the data for you so you can send it back to Verizon.
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have used the program JL_loader to wipe a BB that did not respond to anything. you will end up with a 507 error when done indicating all software is gone. One of the forum members made the program. It may work on yours also.
As for the replacement having other info, i would call the other user if possible and let them complain also.

do a search for the java loader program. you will get all the info on it
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