"I think, unfortunately, members of Congress are not very educated about real security issues and real problems, and instead they are taking their cues from interested parties, for example the intelligence community, as to what needs to get passed," Auerbach says. "Unfortunately, the result is that the legislation is not focused on the relevant issues, such as mobile, and instead it tends to become blanket legislation."
An increase in user education about the privacy and security issues with their smartphones could help the problem, as could improvements in sharing information about and patching newly discovered mobile software vulnerabilities, Auerbach says. However, OEMs and carriers are unlikely to respond until they have to, after a major security issue puts their customers directly at risk, he says.
"Unfortunately, it might be the case where it will require some sort of big, newsworthy event where users' privacy is compromised in a big way," Auerbach says. "I hope that's not the case. I hope that we can kind of improve security without that, but unfortunately I think it's going to take a lot of press coverage to get mobile platform vendors and manufacturers to really start caring about this issue."
Colin Neagle covers emerging technologies, privacy and enterprise mobility for Network World. Follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/ntwrkwrldneagle and keep up with the Microsoft, Cisco https://twitter.com/#!/ciscosubnet and Open Source community blogs. Colin's email address is email@example.com.
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