Sierraware Blog

Smartphone cameras: Think before you click

DigitalPhotoToday’s workforce is mobile. Workers are not just relying on their mobile devices to check their email, but to perform their job. Field service workers, doctors, police officers, flight attendants, and many more use their phones and tablets every day to look up records, to collect customer data, and to communicate.

Mobile workers also take photographs on their phones to document information or gather evidence. Unfortunately, without proper security and storage, those photos might be erased or—worse yet—they might expose workers and their employers to legal risks.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why workers snap photos on the job and why they should not store photos locally on their mobile devices.

  • Insurance adjusters: often take photos of insured vehicles or property to document damage. If an insurance adjuster’s phone is stolen, the photos could be lost.
  • Doctors: use their camera phones to record the conditions of their patients. However, most doctors do not want photos of a patient’s ugly foot rash sandwiched between photos of their kids and their Hawaiian vacation.
  • Office workers: take photos of white board sessions and presentations from their phones. If these photos reveal proprietary information, such as business plans or product roadmaps, organizations should protect them just as they would protect confidential documents and spreadsheets.
  • Police officers: use camera phones to collect evidence of criminal activity, but officers should avoid storing graphic or disturbing photos on their personal phones; storing photos of child exploitation or other illicit activity could make law enforcement officers liable for the crimes they are trying to prevent.
  • Meter readers: take photos of electricity meter levels to ensure meter reading data is accurate and to reduce fraud. Storing these photos instantly in a central location will expedite the collection and cataloging meter data and reduce loss.

These are just a few examples showcasing why mobile workers capture information with their mobile cameras. As mobile devices become more integrated into employees’ everyday jobs, cameras will play an increasing role.

Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) can help organizations take control of photos captured on mobile devices. With VMI, employees can capture a photo using their camera phone using a camera application hosted on a remote VMI server. Unlike content management and containerization tools from MDM vendors, VMI ensures that confidential photos are never stored on mobile devices.

To learn how to protect photos and other applications on mobile devices, read about SierraVMI Virtual Mobile Infrastructure.