Remote Control of portables

I recently experienced the loss of a tablet. Fortunately, I had erased all data entries from inside. Nevertheless, if I had info inside and someone was able to unlock the tablet, they would have access to sensitive data that may have been collected and stored by Kobo. This is a great issue, not only for the data protection of persons, but also for legal reasons, following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.

So, my suggestion is to develop a remote control of portables that are attached to an account and have the ability to detach the portable and withdraw access to any data collected and stored in the portable.

Linking this post here as a background (so the community is able to understand more on this suggestion):

Pinging @Xiphware for opinions.

Few hints:

  • I trust your devices have individual passwords.
  • You can configure KoBo/ODK so that case data are deleted after sent.
  • You could use Android/Google (remote) tools to block and clean a device, like Find my Device.
  • You could use tools for Android, like Samsung Knox to set extra pasword for KoBo/ODK system.
  • You could change the password for the project account and distribute (by barcode config) to the valid users.
  • If you know the deviceid (metadata) from previous submssion you can track/find new submissions on server level.
    I think, if a device is lost, it’s more a general blocking/cleaning issue.
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Hi wroos,
Thank you for your prompt response and your suggestions!


  • the device had an individual password,
  • we changed the password for the project account.
  • All files have been deleted from the device manually, before been stolen. I will change settings so as to be deleted automatically.

Regarding remote tools, unfortunately this was not feasible as the tablet was used only for research purposes, so it was not linked with an account but again, it is something to considerate.

Thanks again !

There is no account needed for this. The option must just be activated on the Android device.

Same for tools like Knox.

For older Android versions, you might also activate device encryption (default in newer versions).

Early plan, organise and test data security policy in any survey project, I would recommend.

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