In light of recent events like the Sony hack and the Ashley Madison hack, security has become a hot button issue. People are more concerned about the safety of their personal data than ever before. The issue of cybersecurity was recently brought to a 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in a case between the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and Wyndham Hotels. What does this have to do with app developers? The case has big implications for the future of personal privacy in apps.
Wyndham Hotels has been the victim of three separate hacking events between 2008 and 2010. The hackers were able to lift the credit card information of 619,000 Wyndham customers and spend more than $10.6 million in fraudulent charges. Wyndham, instead of upgrading its security to prevent further hacks, chose to ignore the issue. Hackers were then able to access the hotel chain’s computer network and install malware that continued to steal user information. The court found that the FTC had the precedent to file against Wyndham for not meeting a minimum level of “reasonable” data security. This is where things start to become important for app developers.
What constitutes “reasonable” data security? The FTC has outlined some basic guidelines in their “Start With Security” guide to answer that question. The conclusion reached by the FTC is that different apps require different levels of security. If your app sends data to a remote server then you need to have security parameters in place for securing software, securing transmissions of data, and securing servers.
If your company is collecting and storing personal data, the FTC urges you to make someone responsible for security, take stock of the data you collect and retain, practice data minimization, and several other important aspects of security procedure. It’s crucial to understand that a security breach from your app could lead to the law being against you. Always take the highest of safety measures, especially with private user data. Remember, the users who download your app are real people who are trusting you to keep them safe.
Read the full article here: Wyndham Decision Reminds Us To Start With Security