Mobile Security and Privacy at Mobile Monday Cape Town

April 18, 2011, University of Cape Town – Shayan Mashatian spoke at Mobile Monday Cape Town about Mobile Cloud Computing, Security and Privacy

Shayan Mashatian, President of the Institute of mobile Technologies today spoke at Mobile Monday Cape Town about mobile cloud computing, security and privacy.

The future of mobile is in cloud computing, and there is a growth of smart phones even in developing countries, according to Shayan Mashatian, president of the Institute of Mobile technologies in Canada.

Mashatian was speaking at Mobile Monday Cape Town seminar on the Samsung Mobile Innovation Laboratory (SMILE), recently established at UCT. SMILE is a multimillion-rand partnership to develop innovative mobile applications in response to unique Africa needs. Mashatian said cloud computing – programs are run off remote, online servers rather than from a local server of PC – is elastic, has massive scalability, and users can pay for only the resources they actually use and only the time required.

The key concern about cloud computing, though, is security and privacy. On top of that, mobile cellphones are not as secure as often thought and they can be easily hacked if not protected properly. Protecting of personal data constantly collected by the organization to ensure privacy of the users is a responsibility of service providers, developers and user organisations therefore required to be incorporated in the design and not as an afterthought, Mashatian added. At the end as an example of using cloud for the mobile for development projects, Mashatian spoke of a case in rural Uganda, where each village was given a smart phone to collect data and to provide agriculture information to improve productivity and fight diseases. “The feedback was very positive,” Mashatian said, adding that the project was being extended to the whole country.

Shayan Mashatian believes that protecting personal data in developing countries is not receiving enough attention. It must be considered at institutional level (policies), organizational level (organization processes and guidelines) and project (technology design) to ensure privacy of users.

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