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Lost Cell Phones Piling Up in NYC Cabs

It's a sinking feeling when you realize your cell phone isn't in the place it should be -- in its holster, a pocket, a purse or some other personal travel container. So it follows that there have been a lot of sinking feelings lately in New York City, capital of the taxicab business.

Credant Technologies, which makes mobile data protection solutions, released survey results Sept. 16 that indicate passengers in New York's yellow taxicabs have left behind a staggering 31,544 mobile phones (that's more than two per taxi) and 2,752 other handheld devices -- such as laptops, iPods and memory sticks -- over the last six months.

The survey was carried out at the same time in both London and New York and reports that New Yorkers and Londoners are equally work-obsessed. Cab drivers reported that passengers spend almost half their time catching up on work, either on the phone or by e-mail. Unfortunately, too many of these mobile devices are left behind in the back seat of the cab.

"We've become too complacent about losing personal information. This is a warning to the business community and individuals to be vigilant when travelling with mobile devices, especially as more people are using the latest range of 'must-have' mobile smart phones to store large amounts of sensitive personal and business information," said Michael Callahan, chief marketing officer at Credant.

Many of these devices now have the capacity to store as many as 10,000 Word documents, 11,000 pictures, 500,000 contact details or an amazing 1.1 million e-mails, making them an obvious target for identity theft. Criminals and hackers who steal this information can then assume the identity of the users -- in their personal or business life. Not a good result.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...