John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Motorola: Act Now and We’ll Include the Previous Owner’s Personal Data on Your Refurbished Xoom Free!

Motorola’s fall sale of refurbished Xoom tablets has gone about as wrong as it could possibly have gone.

The company said today that 100 of the 6,200 it sold through between October and December of 2011 may not have been properly reformatted.

In other words, they still contained the personal information of their previous owners — everything from email and social networking passwords to photos and documents.

What an incredible cock-up.

Motorola’s solution to the problem? To “actively pursue the return of the impacted refurbished units” (visit if you think you may have one). Also: offer customers whose personal data might have been compromised a two-year subscription to credit rating agency Experian’s ProtectMyID identity theft service.

A decent gesture, I suppose — unless some miscreant has already pilfered your personal information from the device in the four months it has taken Motorola to notice its mistake.

“Motorola sincerely regrets and apologizes for any inconvenience this situation has caused,” the company said in a statement.

Update: The peanut gallery chimes in:

can already see great Synergies in Google Motorolla Aquisition. Google has Personal data and Moto the means of sharing it @

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work