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Likely to see multiple owners, mobile devices pose unique data security concerns

B-Stock, the world’s largest B2B marketplace for trade-in and overstock mobile phones and devices, recently reported that the average mobile phone will be used by two to three people before it is scrapped. As a result, mobile providers and manufacturers need to adequately protect user data on devices by conforming to R2 Certification.

The used phone market is currently worth $25 billion and growing faster than the primary market, the company said. As part of its research, B-Stock looked at trade-in rates for the iPhone X and the subsequent effect on the secondary market.

Trade-ins of iPhone X models are on the rise due to customers being incentivized to trade up to an XS/XR model, as well as a higher buyback pricing for the X. Accordingly, the iPhone X has recently surpassed the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as the most sold used model, with record levels of trade-in X devices being sold wholesale to secondary-market buyers in the U.S. and China.

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An attendee holds a yellow Nokia 8110 4G smartphone, manufactured by HMD Global Oy, during a launch event ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. At the wireless industry’s biggest conference, more than 100,000 people are set to see the latest smartphones, artificial intelligence devices and autonomous drones exhibited by roughly 2,300 companies. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Given the rise in trade-ins, more carriers, providers, and manufacturers are moving used models to B2B channels, the report said. For example, they are selling bulk quantities of phones directly to a reseller. To avoid risk, B-Stock is advising these companies to sell used devices to R2 Certified facilities only.

“When it comes to smart devices, a primary concern of the initial user is the safety and security of their data; consumers understandably need reassurance that details like financial and personal information will no longer be accessible from the device they are trading in,” said Sean Cleland, vice president of mobile for B-Stock. “When a facility becomes R2 certified, it is showing a serious commitment to consumer privacy.”

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