Mobile security – Exactly who is responsible for the protection of users data?

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There has been an intriguing media debate recently regarding whose responsibility it is to make sure the personal information of mobile users is fully protected. While some fingers point squarely towards app marketplace operators, app developers have also been called upon to take their share of responsibility.

Since the arrival of the smartphone, the amount of information mobile users share through their handsets has increased considerably. This has led experts within this industry to call for better privacy protection in general. However, it is still not clear who should be in charge of this process.

Todd Moore, founder of app vendor TMSoft, commented recently on mobile app privacy at the State of the Mobile Net conference in Washington. Moore admitted that companies such as Apple and Google have several good privacy protection policies in place, yet believes they could do more to improve things.

“The operators of the iPhone and Android app marketplaces are in the best position to enforce privacy controls and set rules limiting the amount of information apps can collect,” he stressed.

Independent security and privacy researcher, Ashkan Soltani, added fuel to the fire by arguing that app developers bear most of the responsibility for protecting privacy. He said that app developers “must embrace a set of standard privacy practices going forward” to improve the situation.

As an example case, he mentioned the iPhone app Girls Around Me, which was voluntarily withdrawn recently by app maker SMS Services due to its dubious privacy policy. Using location on Foursquare, Girls Around Me alerted its users to nearby women, or men.

Commenting on this specific app, Sarah Hudgins – public policy director at the Interactive Advertising Bureau – said it was “a 10 creepy” on a scale of one to ten.

Security first

Guaranteeing confidentiality and privacy protection is essential amongst the frequent exchange of data in business today.

Esendex understands that the provision of a secure, robust and high performance SMS service is crucial to the business operations of our customers and our continued success. For more information please visit our security and reliability and privacy policy webpages.