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Motorola Mobility Says Refurbished Xoom Tablets May Not Have Been Data-Wiped

In a gaffe that could have exposed its customers' private info, Motorola Mobility announced Friday that about 100 out of a batch of 6,200 refurbished Xoom Wi-Fi tablets may not have been completely cleared of the original owner's data prior to resale.

According to Motorola, the affected Android-based tablets were resold by online retailer Woot.com between October and December 2011. The company said it is actively attempting to obtain the improperly refurbished devices, and Motorola is offering any customers who bought a Xoom Wi-Fi tablet between March and October of last year a free two-year membership of Experian's ProtectMyID Alert privacy-theft monitoring service.

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

Motorola said it had confirmed that all refurbished units sold outside the time period in question were properly data-wiped.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the Xoom tablet features a 10.i-inch display with support for 720p video playback and a 5-megapixel camera. The tablets include email, Web browsing, music player applications, plus access to the Android apps. New models carry a suggested list price of $499.

Private information that may be accessible to the purchasers of the 100-some refurbished tablets may include photographs, documents, and user names and passwords for email, social media accounts and other password-protected sites and applications.

Motorola is advising Xoom Wi-Fi buyers in to contact Experian at 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.

Meanwhile, Motorola is asking customers who purchased a refurbished Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi tablet from Woot.com between October and December 2011 to visit motorola.com/xoomreturn or to call customer support at 800-734-5870 to determine if their tablet is affected.

Motorola Mobility is in the process of a $12.5 billion acquisition by Google, which primarily wants to own the Motorola patent portfolio. The deal has yet to be cleared by regulators in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.