Data Security: Most Finders of Lost Smartphones Are Snoops

Operation Honey Stick uncovers what happens when smartphones go missing
Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer

I was sitting in the food court of the Great Mall in Milpitas, Calif.—Great Khan’s Mongolian BBQ to one side, Hot Dog on a Stick to the other—when the adrenaline hit. It was go time for Operation Honey Stick. Cris Paden, a public-relations man at security technology company Symantec, reached across one of the metal tables and passed me an Android smartphone. I placed it on the seat behind me, waited a couple of minutes, and then left—hoping someone would nick the device after our getaway.

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