Smartphones Can Expose More than a Company – or a Wife – Might Like

Nude photos on a smartphone serve to illustrate another potential vulnerability in information security for companies.


A married couple sued McDonald’s Corp. after photos of the wife turned up on the internet. Phillip Sherman says he left his iPhone, which contained the photos, at a restaurant in Arkansas and that an employee of the restaurant promised to secure the phone until he returned. He and his wife, Tina Sherman, want to hold the franchisor responsible for distribution of the photos.


The alleged incident highlights two things: telephones are now capable of holding sensitive content (including spreadsheets, documents and databases), and phones are easy to lose track of.


For quite a few years laptops and backup tapes that were being transported off a company’s premises have been susceptible to loss or theft and the resulting potential exposure of sensitive information. If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now clear that cell phones have been added to the list of things that could cause problems if they are lost or stolen, and appropriate security measures should be considered.