Nowadays (almost) every employee has a smartphone in their pocket. But have you ever thought about who could potentially have access to the information on your smartphone? More and more governments worldwide are warning against the use of certain apps, such as TikTok. For example, after an earlier ban on TikTok, the government has banned nine more apps for government officials.
The scenario: Spyware on Smartphone by foreign app
In your organization it is not unusual for employees to have one smartphone that is used for both private and work purposes, including some employees of a BSL-3 laboratory. These employees work together on research involving a high-risk pathogen. For a good transfer during the holiday period, employees send a few messages and photos to inform each other about the progress and the storage location. A few days later, one of these employees notices that his smartphone is increasingly slow, shows unexpected advertisements or pop-ups, and has new toolbars, search engines, and Internet home pages that he does not remember installing. It looks like there is spyware on the phone.
Risks and Action Perspective
Sharing Your Scenario
If you would like to discuss how to handle this scenario with the Biosecurity Office or if you have encountered a biosecurity scenario that you would like to share with colleagues in the field, please feel free to contact us. The Biosecurity Office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.