Trust Issues: Employees Wary of Bosses Seeing Personal Info on Devices

PRESS­­ RELEASE – MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — 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 (NASDAQ: MOBL). The 2015 MobileIron Trust Gap Survey, released today, 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").

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"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." 

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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 Survey conducted in 2013 by Vision Critical, mobile workers are not comfortable with their employer seeing the following:

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:

Global highlights

The facts: what the employer could actually see, depending on its policies*

The facts: what the employer cannot see*

*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:

Download the white paper for more details and a review of operating system privacy capabilities:

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.

About MobileIron

MobileIron provides the secure foundation for companies around the world to transform into Mobile First organizations. For more information, please visit

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