People Lose Lots of Tech on London Public Transport, Including Drones and Amazon Echos

By Tom Pritchard on at

People are very good at losing things, especially on public transport in London. In 2016 35 sex toys were left on the tube, which just goes to show much much random stuff people carry around with them as they go from place to place. It's got to the point where TfL lost property auction generates hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue, all because people left stuff behind and didn't go back to claim it.

New research from think tank Parliament Street has now revealed that between April 2017 and April 2018  26,272 electronic devices were left somewhere on London public transport. But beyond simply losing stuff, the think tank did some analysis and figured out that leaving all that tech lying around in public is actually a major security risk - and not just top secret files that were left on a commuter train.

Obviously the figures are dominated by mobile phones, with 23,453 of them handed into lost property over the 12 month period. That was followed by 1,155 laptops, 1,055 tablets, 568 eReaders, 10 drones, and four Amazon Echos. Most of those I can understand, but who the hell takes an Amazon Echo onto the bus or tube? It's like like Alexa can tell you what the weather is like when you're on the train. Drones too, since they're usually massive bulky things that are quite difficult to forget about.

And of course these are just the devices that were handed in. Not everyone is so honest, and any one of them could have easily been picked up by someone who fancied an upgrade - or had other nefarious intentions. Which is the point of Parliament Street's research, to try and show businesses (and to an extent regular people, but mainly businesses) that they need to be very careful with their data security.

There's a lot of data on your phone, laptop, and whatever other device you may carry around, and cyber thieves know exactly how to access it. As for your drones, well, don't be dumb enough to lose track of it in the first place.

You can read the full conclusions of the report here. Hopefully on your phone that you can keep track of.