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Smartphones : Information security risks, opportunities and recommendations for users

lundi 27 décembre 2010

Eighty million smartphones were sold worldwide in the third quarter of 2010, accounting for 20% of the total of mobile phones sold (1). In the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy the number of smartphone users increased to sixty million (2). Smartphones offer new opportunities in every sector of society (3) (4) - from mobile productivity to e-health, augmented reality and electronic payments.

Smartphones have a rich cocktail of features : an array of sensors, multiple radio and network interfaces, as well as gigabytes of storage and powerful processors. They are often within a meter of their owners 24 hours a day. In fact, smartphones have already realised many aspects of the vision of ambient intelligence which includes, for example, providing augmented reality applications, applications that adapt to and anticipate the user’s physical environment using smart sensors - even providing smart health applications using biometric monitoring. Many of the security and privacy issues raised in the context of ambient intelligence apply to smartphones as well.

The objective of this report is to allow an informed assessment of the information security and privacy risks of using smartphones. Most importantly, we make practical recommendations on how to address these risks. The ultimate objective is to enable users, businesses and governments to take advantage of the opportunities offered by smartphones while minimising the information security risks to which they are exposed.

We assess and rank the most important information security risks and opportunities for smartphone users and give prioritised recommendations on how to address them. The report analyses 10 information security risks for smartphone users and 7 information security opportunities. It makes 20 recommendations to address the risks.

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