Jonathan Zdziarski has revealed that the iPhone can’t delete personal data, in fact, it keeps tons of important stuff that could lead to identity theft, among other things. Right now his forensic tools are available only to Law Enforcement officials, but he plans to release it to the public. This means that anyone willing to do bad things can get your personal info off the iPhone. Think you can totally wipe your iPhone? Unlikely, even Apple and AT&T don’t clean the iPhone properly.
A verified detective from the Oregon State Police notified me this afterrnoon that an out-of-the-box refurbished iPhone he purchased contained recoverable personal data including email, personal photos, and even financial information which he was able to recover using my forensic toolkit.
The image to the left is one piece of that personal info that was recovered, posted only because it doesn’t reveal extremely sensitive info. Looks scary to me.
Right now there just isn’t a way to safely delete your personal data from the iPhone. Remember this as you try to unload your old iPhone in the wake of the new 3G iPhone that will probably be coming soon.