Motorola fails to fully wipe refurbished Wi-Fi Xooms sold on Woot.com, your data could be at risk

If you are one of the many people who purchased and returned a Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom from Amazon.com, Best Buy, BJ’s, eBay, Office Max, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, or Staples, your data might be at risk. It looks like Motorola slipped up didn’t properly wipe the returned Xooms before reselling it to Woot.com. Out of a batch of 6,200 Wi-Fi Xooms that were sold on the daily-deals site Woot.com, Motorola says that approximately 100 of the devices didn’t properly have the old owner’s data fully erased. This means that for some of you, someone could have access to the data you stored on your returned Xoom.

The Xooms in questions were sold on Woot.com between March and October 2011.

According to Motorola, data that could be available to the new owner of the Xoom include photos, documents, user names, passwords, and pretty much anything you decided to store on your Xoom.

What is Motorola doing about this?

Motorola is taking a number of steps to protect users who could have their personal information in the hands of other. For starters, Motorola is offering a complimentary 2-year membership of Experian’s ProtectMyID, an identity theft monitoring service, to mitigate any risk. So, if you purchased or returned a Wi-Fi Xoom between March and October 2011, contact Experian at 1-866-926-9803 to sign up for the credit monitoring service. You should also probably change the password of any online service you used through your Wi-Fi Xoom.

In addition, Motorola is also trying to have the impacted Xooms sent back to them so that they can be properly wiped. If you purchased a Motorola Xoom tablet from Woot.com between October and December 2011, please visit www.motorola.com/xoomreturn or call 1-800-734-5870 and select option 1 to determine if the tablet you have affected. If you have to send back your Xoom, Motorola will pay for all the expenses, give you a $100 American Express Gift Card, and have your Xoom back to you in 3-4 business days.

Check out the full press release from Motorola, and the letter that Woot is sending to its customers.

Motorola Press Release regarding personal data on Wi-Fi Xooms

Motorola Mobility Notifies Certain Purchasers of Refurbished Motorola XOOM™ Wi-Fi Tablets of Refurbishment Process Error

Feb. 03, 2012

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Feb. 3, 2012 – Motorola Mobility, Inc. today announced that it has recently learned that approximately 100 out of a batch of 6,200 Motorola XOOM™ Wi-Fi tablets that were refurbished by Motorola Mobility may not have been completely cleared of the original owner’s data prior to resale. The affected tablets were resold by Woot.com between October and December 2011. While this matter likely affects only a small number of refurbished units, Motorola has a strong commitment to its consumers, and is proactively responding to mitigate any risk to its customers. Motorola has confirmed that any refurbished units sold outside the time period in question were properly refurbished.

The information that may be accessible to the purchasers of the impacted refurbished tablets may include any information that the original user elected to store on the tablet. It is possible that users might have stored photographs and documents. They may have also stored user names and passwords for email and social media accounts, as well as other password-protected sites and applications.

Motorola is offering customers who purchased and then returned a Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi tablet to Amazon.com, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale, eBay, Office Max, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, or Staples and a few other independent retailers between March and October 2011 a complimentary two-year membership of Experian’s ProtectMyID™ Alert to mitigate any risks. Original owners are advised to contact Experian at 1-866-926-9803 to sign up for the credit monitoring service. These original owners are also advised to take precautionary measures to protect their identity, such as changing their email and social media passwords. Original owners who performed a factory data reset prior to returning the device are not impacted.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Motorola is also actively pursuing the return of the impacted refurbished units to ensure that the memory of each device is cleared. Customers who purchased a refurbished Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi tablet from Woot.com between October and December 2011 are encouraged to visit motorola.com/xoomreturn or to call Motorola Mobility Customer Support at 1-800-734-5870, select Option 1, in order to determine if their tablet is affected.

Motorola sincerely regrets and apologizes for any inconvenience this situation has caused the affected customers. Motorola is committed to rigorous data protection practices in order to protect its customers, and will continue to take the necessary steps to achieve this objective.

About Motorola Mobility Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE:MMI) fuses innovative technology with human insights to create experiences that simplify, connect and enrich people’s lives. Our portfolio includes converged mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices. For more information, visit motorola.com/mobility.

Media Contacts (for media and analysts only):

Christa Smith +1 858-404-2990 christasmith@motorola.com Motorola Mobility, Inc.

Woot.com’s letter to customer who purchased a Wi-Fi Xoom

Want to do a good deed and possibly get paid for it? As somebody who purchased a Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi tablet from Woot.com between September 29, 2011 and December 4, 2011, pay close attention to the rest of this email. There may be money – and good karma – in it for you.

Motorola Mobility has notified us that some of those tablets were not fully refurbished by Motorola. Specifically, Motorola may not have completely wiped previous user data off the devices.

Let’s be clear here: only the original purchasers of these devices may have had their personal information compromised; Motorola is also addressing this issue with the original purchasers who may have been affected. At no point was your information as a Woot customer compromised.

So why is this your concern? Well, Motorola is nicely asking the Woot customers with the affected devices to return the devices to Motorola so that the refurbishment process can be completed. Of course, Motorola will also pay for all the necessary shipping, in the form of a pre-paid shipping box. Your newly reset Xoom will be back in your hands in about 3-4 business days. And so will a $100 American Express gift card for your trouble.

We encourage you to participate in this process by calling Motorola Customer Support at 1-800-734-5870, then selecting option 1 (tablets). Since not all of the Xooms sold by Woot are affected, Motorola will check your serial number to see if you need to return your device. You may also check online at www.motorola.com/xoomreturn. If your serial number is on the list, you’re eligible to participate in the process and receive the $100 American Express gift card.

Before you send your Xoom to Motorola, be sure to back up your music, videos and photos, as Motorola’s factory reset will erase all of that stuff. Any applications downloaded from the Android Market can be downloaded again when your device is returned. If you’ve paid for any Android Market applications, logging into your Gmail account will allow you to download them again for free.

Woot and Motorola thank you for participating in this voluntary program. We hope the $100 American Express gift card is worth your trouble. And we apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused. If you have comments or questions for the Woot team, please contact us at service@woot.com.

Jonathan converted to the Android platform from Blackberry with the original Motorola Droid. He currently has a Samsung Galaxy Nexus complete with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on Verizon Wireless, a Motorola Xoom, and a Kindle Fire. Besides keeping up with Android news, he enjoys spending time with his family, gaming, reading, and computers. Google+

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