19 Jun 2013
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Hands up if you're responsible for securing Kiwi data?

Kiwis are not taking individual responsibility for data being collected by their mobile apps, blaming the government and other organisations instead.

Just weeks after the 50 billionth mobile app was downloaded from the Apple App Store, a new survey from Unisys finds that New Zealanders hold a range of organisations responsible for the security of data that may be gathered by mobile apps.

The national study shows that Kiwis put the weight of responsibility on the organisation offering the app to their customers or community, as well as the government, with only about half of respondents believing individuals were personally responsible for protecting data collected by mobile apps.

Unisys says 70% of Kiwis say the provider of the service a mobile app links to, such as a bank or airline, is responsible for protecting personal or financial data collected.

Government ranked second most responsible, despite previous Unisys research indicating New Zealanders were opposed to greater government surveillance of the internet.

“More and more organisations, such as banks, government departments, insurance companies, and airlines, are offering mobile apps as a way for people to interact with them,” says Steve Griffin, country manager, Unisys New Zealand.

“Some of these apps are clearly designed to gather information about the people who download them, such as a mobile app that helps insurance company customers to collect information from the scene of an accident and submit a claim.

"The Unisys Security Index findings send a clear signal to organisations that the public expects them to protect any personal data they collect via mobile apps."

At the same time, Griffin warned that individuals must also take personal responsibility for protecting their own personal information, particularly given that mobile apps may contain hidden malicious code designed to secretly gather and transmit data.

“Given the high rate of bring-your-own apps used in the workplace, it is worrisome that only 53% of Kiwis said they are responsible as individuals for securing data collected by mobile apps.

"Employees could inadvertently put their employers at risk by allowing mobile apps to capture sensitive information such as unencrypted data, location tracking, contacts and sign-on details.

“It is essential that people become aware of the risks and take personal responsibility to minimise the chance of mobile apps accessing sensitive data – both their own and their employer’s."

Who New Zealanders say should be responsible for security of data collected by mobile apps:

• Provider of the service that the app links to such as the bank or airline - 72%• Government - 60%• Internet and telecommunications providers - 53%• Individuals - 53%• Mobile app market place such as Apple App Store or Google Play - 46%• Developer of the app - 43%• Social media companies - 42%

Who is responsible for security of data collected by mobile apps? Tell us your thoughts below

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