61% of mobile workers trust their employer to keep personal information private on their mobile devices

Date: Mon, 08/10/2015 - 18:01 Source: MobileIron press department

2015 MobileIron Trust Gap Survey measures employees’ changing expectations of privacy
61% of mobile workers trust their employer to keep personal information private on their mobile devices

Bob Tinker, President and CEO, MobileIron

Image credited to MobileIron

More and more work is being done using personal mobile devices and employees expect employers to keep personal information private on those devices, according to new research from MobileIron. The 2015 MobileIron Trust Gap Survey, examines the privacy expectations workers have when using a mobile device for work. The online research conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of MobileIron surveyed more than 3,500 employed adults who use a mobile device for work in France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US (“workers”).
“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 information 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.”

Resources include:
• Infographic: Employees expect privacy on mobile devices
• White Paper: The State of the Trust Gap in 2015
• Blog: To become a trusted advisor, IT must close the Trust Gap with users
• Webinar: “Meet security requirements without compromising privacy.” Register here to join MobileIron on August 8 at 10AM PT.

Workers expect employers to keep personal information private
The research found that 86% of mobile workers own the smartphone they use for work purposes, as do 37% of tablet users. 61% trust their employer to keep their personal information private on their mobile device. 30% 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.

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 Surveyconducted 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 apps on my device: 44% (down 10%)
• Location: 42% (down 6%)
• List of all the apps on the device: 41% (down 5%)

Gen M workers are more comfortable with employers seeing personal information
Gen M workers, defined as mobile workers who are either men age 18-34 or people with children under age 18 in their households, are more likely than non-Gen M workers to be comfortable with their employer seeing personal information on their mobile device. Among Gen M workers, 62% are comfortable with their employer seeing at least some personal information on their mobile devices, compared to 51% 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 apps 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%)

Global highlights
• Of the six countries in the survey, 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 their mobile device private.
• 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 device.
• French workers are the most likely (71%) to be comfortable with their employer seeing personal information on their mobile devices.
• Male workers in the US (64%) are significantly more likely than female workers in the US (55%) to be comfortable with their employer seeing personal information on their mobile device.

The facts: what the employer could actually see, depending on its policies*
• Carrier and country
• Make, model, OS version
• Device identifiers (e.g. IMEI)
• Phone number
• Complete list of apps installed
• Location of device (opt-in for the end user)
• Battery level
• Storage capacity and use
• Corporate email and attachments
• Corporate contacts

The facts: what the employer cannot see*
• Information in apps – unless the app has been built to transmit information to a corporate server
• Personal email and attachments
• Texts
• Photos
• Videos
• Personal Web browsing activity
• Voicemails

*Represents visibility on iOS, but will vary by mobile operating system and employer policy.

What employers can do to meet employee trust expectations
When employees trust their employer to protect their privacy, they more quickly adopt new mobile enterprise services and BYOD programs. To drive trust, employers should consider the following:

• Establish clear and logical policies
• Communicate them clearly
• Make privacy information obvious and accessible to employees
• Use the privacy controls available in mobile operating systems

Trust Gap Survey methodology
From December 17, 2014 to January 22, 2015, Harris Poll conducted an online survey on behalf of MobileIron of 3,521 full- or part-time workers who use a mobile device for work purposes in France (502), Germany (501), Japan (503), Spain (500), UK (503), and US (1012). Gen M (1,702) is defined as those who are male aged 18-34 or those with children in the household under 18. The sample was weighted to the populations in each country by age, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income data. MobileIron issued the original Trust Gap Study in July 2013, and the Gen M Study in April 2015.

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