New York, NY – June 28, 2019. IMG GlobalSecur, a leading international travel security consulting firm, is proud to announce a new blog post on growing privacy concerns vis-a-vis travel safety apps. As the producer of one of the most popular travel safety apps called FoneTrac, IMG GlobalSecur is keenly aware of employee privacy concerns. While the app monitors global threats and other travel issues relative to employee locations, it is a user-driven app, one that notifies locations only when a check-in or panic alert button is pressed, except in an emergency. Apart from notifications to authorized persons, no travel data is shared or sold to others. Recent media efforts such as a 2019 TechCrunch investigation (https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/6/18214578/apple-iphone-ios-session-replay-apps-recording-screen-hotel-travel) indicate that, unfortunately, many apps share user data without clear privacy consent by users.
“There is a lot of confusion in travel security apps about data sharing,” explained Chris Hagon, CEO of IMG GlobalSecur. “Our best-in-class travel safety app is an industry leader in transparency to users so that they’re comfortable using the app in the first place.”
Interested persons can read the full post at https://www.fonetrac-go.com/blog/2019/06/above-the-fray/. There, they can review some of the features and benefits, including the relationship to privacy that have caused FoneTrac to be recognized as one of the best travel security apps for employer / employee travel security concerns. The reader is referred in particular to a New York Times Article entitled, “Sending Out an SOS: The Rise of Travel Security Apps” at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/travel/travel-security-apps.html. Finally it should be noted that FoneTrace works hand-in-glove with a backend system provided by GlobalSecur that brings a human element to travel security, including medical security while traveling.
PRIVACY AND SECURITY: IT’S NOT EITHER/OR BUT RATHER BOTH/AND
Here is background on this release. These days many apps on both Android and iPhone play fast and loose with user privacy. Hardly a day goes by without a big player such as Google, Facebook, or Pinterest being criticized for privacy violations, which may be legal but are unethical or both illegal and unethical. This firestorm of concern about privacy extends beyond the big platforms to specific apps that run on top of them. The concern even extends to travel security apps which are supposed to make employees feel more secure (not less secure) when traveling abroad.
Here is more information on how FoneTrac treats user privacy. To ensure privacy and for technical reasons, the app does not monitor traveler exact locations continuously. Therefore, unlike continuous monitoring systems that utilize “virtual boundaries” to determine when these have been breached, consistent feedback from both corporate and individual users has indicated that to promote acceptance, FoneTrac should be user-driven. Thus, if a user were to check-in at point “A” and then change location and check-in again, the app will see the exact location at both points on the world map, but would not be aware of how the employee traveled from A to B − unlike the information which is displayed on the user’s smartphone. GlobalSecur (which is the backend to FoneTrac) is only aware of an employee’s exact location each time they press the “Check-In” or “Panic Alert” buttons. For GlobalSecur to render timely assistance, use of the “Panic Alert” button will trigger continuous monitoring until the alert is canceled, or the app or phone shutdown.
To underpin system security, FoneTrac back-end systems operate in a secure GDPR-compliant Microsoft Azure cloud environment.
ABOUT THE INCIDENT MANAGEMENT GROUP (IMG)
Incident Management Group is a leading international security consulting firm. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for robust travel security solutions can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s experts provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, and expatriate travel security, workplace safety, duty of care management, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.
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