Sep 11, 2013
How MAM Supports New Mobile App Privacy Guidelines
Industry groups and privacy advocates are nearing an agreement on voluntary guidelines that would be applied to mobile apps. This agreement should make it clearer for consumers to know what personal information is being drawn from their use of mobile devices and then used by marketers. But in the age of the bring your own device (BYOD) movement in the enterprise, how does a mobile application management (MAM) policy support these new mobile privacy guidelines? Under the plan that’s being developed, users of both personal and enterprise apps would receive a simple snapshot of a mobile app’s privacy policies that are easy to follow and digest. Consumers would learn what information about them is being collected, such as location, surfing habits, and personal contacts, and how that data might be used or shared with other companies. Although industry groups such as the Future of Privacy Forum say they generally applaud the idea while holding final judgment until the proposal has been tested, because adoption is voluntary, it’s ultimately up to individual companies and app developers to decide whether or not to comply. Various reports say the voluntary guidelines could take months to test and implement. For enterprises that distribute or otherwise support the use of mobile apps by employees, the use of a mobile application management (MAM) solution can help IT ensure that enterprise mobile apps – whether homegrown, customized by a third-party provider or those that are acquired – are meeting the requirements of the plan. Mobile application management enables IT to manage, monitor, and secure enterprise apps and data that reside on employees’ devices without disrupting their personal apps and data. This includes the ability to track whether new or updated apps available to employees contain the privacy notifications that have been outlined in the plan. Also, because MAM solutions allow companies to separate enterprise apps from employees’ personal apps and data, this can strengthen employee confidence about downloading and using enterprise apps without fear that their personal information is being compromised. In addition, employees can feel assured that their employer is regularly checking on the privacy notifications of enterprise apps that are made available from an enterprise app store that’s supported by a MAM solution. This can help reinforce employees’ faith that the privacy policies for any apps made available to them are clear and easy to access which can help bolster their willingness to download and use apps, drive higher adoption rates, and generate greater ROI.