Employees Changing Expectations Regards Privacy on Mobile Devices

July 16, 20158:20 am341 views

More and more work is being done using personal mobile devices and employees expect employers to keep personal information private. Expectations regards privacy on mobile devices from employers is high. This has been revealed according to findings from the 2015 MobileIron Trust Gap Survey that examines privacy expectations of workers when using mobile devices at work.

The MobileIron online research conducted by Harris Poll conducted this survey on more than 3,500 employed adults who use a mobile device for work in France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US.

“Mobile workers, especially younger workers, have an expectation of privacy when using mobile devices for work. Many would leave their jobs if their employer could see personal informationMobileIron on their device,” said Ojas Rege, Vice President, Strategy, MobileIron.

“In a world where smartphones contain increasing amounts of sensitive personal data, CIOs must remember that every device is a mixed-use device and must protect employee privacy as fiercely as corporate security.”

The research found that 86 percent of mobile workers own the Smartphone they use for work purposes, as do 37 percent of tablet users. 61 percent trust their employer to keep their personal information private on their mobile device.  30 percent of people would leave their job if their employer could see their personal information, such as personal emails, texts, or photos, on their Smartphone or tablet.

See: Contrary Facts to Smartphone Usage in HR

Though the vast majority of these workers trust employers to keep personal information private on mobile devices, they are still concerned about specific types of personal data. Compared to the first Trust Gap Survey conducted in 2013 by Vision Critical, mobile workers are not comfortable with their employer seeing the following:

  • Personal email and attachments: 52% (down 14%)
  • Personal contacts: 49% (down 10%)
  • Texts/instant messages: 48% (down 15%)
  • Voicemails: 45% (down 10%)
  • Details of phone calls and internet usage: 45% (down 8%)
  • The information in all the mobile appsMobileIron on my device: 44% (down 10%)
  • Location: 42% (down 6%)
  • List of all the appsMobileIron on the device: 41% (down 5%)

Amongst the Gen-M mobile workforce, 62 percent are comfortable with their employer seeing at least some personal information on their mobile devices, compared to 51 percent of non-Gen M workers. Gen M workers are more likely to be more comfortable with their employer seeing:

  • Location: 43% (non-Gen M workers: 34%)
  • List of all the apps on the device: 43% (non-Gen M workers: 33%)
  • Details of phone calls and Internet usage: 41% (non-Gen M workers: 31%)
  • The information in all the mobile appsMobileIron on my device: 40% (non-Gen M workers 29%)
  • Texts/instant messages: 38% (non-Gen M workers 26%)
  • Voicemails: 37% (non-Gen M workers 29%)
  • Personal contacts: 37% (non-Gen M workers 25%)
  • Personal email and attachments: 34% (non-Gen M workers 22%)

Of the six countries surveyed, workers in Germany are the most likely (74%) to trust their employer to keep their personal information on their mobile device private. This is in contrast to workers in the Japan who are the least likely (53%) to trust their employer to keep personal information on mobile. Spanish workers are the most likely (52%) to think their employer can see any information on their mobile device.

Male workers in the UK (49%) are significantly more likely than female workers in the UK (35%) to believe that their employer can see personal and corporate information on their mobile devices. To stand to the employee’s trust expectations, employers are required to protect their privacy, adopt new mobile enterprise services and BYOD programs.

To drive better trust, employers must communicate clearly the logical policies, make privacy information obvious and accessible to all employees and use privacy controls available in mobile operating systems.

Also read: HR Trend Next: Talent Management on Smartphone

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