Managing Mobile Data Collection: The New Challenges And Tips For Best Practice

Is your organisation aware of the challenges surrounding data collection and usage? With Gartner predicting that nearly all mobile apps will be collecting user data by 2015, now’s the time to start thinking about how you approach key information trust issues.

Mobile phones image from Shutterstock

According to Gartner, roughly 25 per cent of organisations are currently unsure about what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable use of mobile data, posing a major risk to their reputation and brand image.

A worst case scenario, for example, could see an organisation monetising collected data by selling it to third-parties, even though users are unaware. This could lead someone to suddenly face hefty insurance premiums, as they are suddenly identified as belonging to a ‘risk category’.

A best practice situation, on the other hand, would have a company anonymising and securing all data as it would other key information assets, whether as part of an on-premise or cloud-based implementation.

Gartner research director Roxanne Edjlali explains:

Personal data is often collected solely in support of a mobile app’s requirements and not considered an asset within an organisation’s overall information infrastructure.

Consequently, although this data is accessed and potentially stored in support of an app, it is not managed as a full ‘citizen’ of an enterprise’s information infrastructure.

IT leaders should ensure they have infrastructure in place that takes into account data collected, not only via mobile apps, but also from apps running on wearable devices.

In other words, businesses need to ensure that any data collected via mobile apps is protected as robustly as other key corporate assets, like sensitive financials. To help you achieve this, Gartner offers up the following tips:

1) Manage the persistency and perishability of data collected from mobile apps.

2) Monitor access to and control of this data. It is important to ensure that personal data collected from mobile apps remains private, and that it is secured, anonymised and accessed according to the organisation’s governance policies. Proper management of user agreements and opt ins are important aspects of this.

3) Control the sharing and reuse of mobile app data for other purposes.

This article originally appeared on Lifehacker UK