The Sunday Guardian Live is spot on saying that “while the number of mobile app downloads has constantly increased over the years, data privacy risks these apps may pose have not been adequately addressed”. In fact there have been numerous mobile app data and privacy breaches in recent months.
Mobile Consumers Expect Mobile Privacy
Earlier this year, Appdome captured the voice of the mobile consumer in a survey of 10,000 mobile consumers across different countries and demographics. Through it, the data is clear that mobile consumers have jumped past responding to “security awareness,” and now hold full-fledged expectations that security, privacy and malware prevention will be an embedded feature in every Android and iOS app. In fact 57% of mobile consumers believe that app apps that store PII (Personally Identifiable Information) should have the same level of security and privacy.
iOS 14.5 – A Major Improvement for Privacy, But…
With the introduction of iOS 14.5, Apple took bold steps forward giving mobile consumer better control over their privacy when using mobile apps. iOS developers are now required to ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies. Earlier this year, we shared with you how Appdome helps developers comply with these new privacy requirements using plist encryption.
But there is more to mobile privacy than app tracking for the purpose of retargeting and advertising. Mobile apps still store a lot of valuable PII (Personally Identifiable Information), and iOS 14.5 did not introduce any changes that would better protect this information. And as Appdome’s 2021 Consumer Security Survey suggests, mobile consumers want their PII protected, they demand mobile privacy. Security Magazine noted that the average smartphone user installed 40 apps, and all these apps store different levels of PII. The problem with this, Security Magazine concluded that the more dispersed one’s personal data, and the more apps that have exposure to one’s data, the greater the chance that data will fall into the hands of malicious person or entity.
The message for mobile app developers is loud and clear: they need to do a better job prioritizing user data privacy and security. In fact, the Appdome consumer survey found that 63% of mobile consumers believe brands (and the developers building apps) have a higher duty to protect their mobile consumers.
Is Privacy by Design the Answer to Better Mobile Privacy?
The European GDPR regulation was the first to codify “privacy by design”. Privacy by design means that organizations and developers must implement “appropriate technical measures” that ensure data protection and integrate “the necessary safeguards” into the processing of personal data to protect the rights of data subjects.
The 7 principles of privacy by design are:
- Proactive not Reactive/Preventative not Remedial
- Privacy as the Default
- Privacy Embedded into Design
- Full Functionality
- End-to-End Security
- Visibility and Transparency
- Respect for User Privacy
I’m not going to go into the detail of each of these principles. (Privacy Policies has a great blog on that). What I want to stress is, that even if you, as a developer, have put guardrails in place to only collect that least amount of data necessary, you still have a responsibility to build the security in your mobile app to ensure that this data remains protected and can only be accessed by the authorized user and not be extracted by a hacker or bad actor.
How to Ensure Mobile Privacy in Your Mobile Apps
How can you, as a mobile app developer, fulfill your mobile consumers’ request from Santa? Appdome’s all-in-one mobile app security solution fully ensures that your consumers get all the mobile privacy they want. When you build your mobile apps with the following protections, your customer’s PII and their mobile privacy will be fully protected.
- TOTALData™ Encryption protects and secures all the PII data stored in your mobile app with AES-256 data-at-rest encryption
- Secure Communications protects all PII data from Man-in-the-Middle attacks.
- Mobile Privacy adds data loss prevention protection to your mobile.
Give your customers the mobile privacy they deserve. Get started with Appdome today.