Implications of Using Kiosk Mode for Compliance and Data Privacy

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The kiosk mode offered by Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution allows the administrator to run one or a set of pre-approved applications while locking down all other functionalities and features. The single app kiosk usually runs in full-screen mode without any access to other functions.

The kiosk mode is commonly used in public spots, such as airports, retail stores, museums, and hospitals, where users need to perform specific tasks or access information without interfering with other features, data, or configurations of a mobile device.

The applications of kiosk mode are two-fold. On the one side, it provides a convenient and flexible approach for sharing information while on the flip side, it can pose serious threats and privacy risks to an organization’s assets if not managed properly.

This article sheds light on the implications of using kiosks for compliance and data privacy and discusses approaches that can assist organizations to use kiosks most ethically and responsibly.

Consequences of using kiosk mode for compliance and data privacy

To gain the maximum advantage of kiosk mode, it should be set up properly. The kiosk feature can pose serious security and privacy issues for an organization if it is not properly configured or managed. Some of the security risks are enlisted below.

  • Unauthorized access: In public places, self-service kiosk devices provide access to data or specific apps without requiring user login credentials or other authentication mechanisms. In that case, if the kiosk is not properly set up, configured, or secured, unauthorized users might be able to access confidential data, such as personal data, customer information, or other financial records.
  • Cyberattacks: Since kiosk devices are connected to the internet, which makes them vulnerable to different security attacks and data breaches. Threat actors can exploit vulnerabilities of kiosk devices or applications to gain access to confidential data or install backdoors or malware to compromise the entire device or steal user data.
  • Non-compliance with international standards and regulations: Organizations that collect and process sensitive data must conform to data protection legislations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If an organization does not care about implementing proper security measures or taking user consent while configuring kiosk mode, then they might be subject to legal penalties and fines.


How do organizations ensure ethical and responsible use of kiosk mode?

To ensure the most ethical use of kiosk mode, organizations must comply with data protection legislation and implement effective security measures. Following are some practices that organizations should adopt to use kiosk mode properly.

  • Security of kiosk software/app: First of all, organizations must ensure that the kiosk app is properly set up and configured so that attackers cannot find loopholes to exploit it. Likewise, this app must be secured by employing encryption approaches, password protection, and access control mechanisms to control the privileges of users and combat malicious actions.
  • Update and patch management: In order to prevent cyberattacks and address security loopholes, it is important to update and patch kiosk devices at regular intervals. The corporates must devise a proper plan to install updates and security patches on the kiosk devices. It is important to note that security patches must be tested and verified before deployment to avoid data exfiltration or other breaches.
  • Transparency and user consent: Another important factor that needs consideration is obtaining user consent when collecting or processing data via kiosk mode. Organizations must be transparent in their policies so that legal penalties can be avoided. The management must provide clear and concise privacy notes, allow customers to delete or opt out of their data at any time and obtain consent before collecting or processing users’ data.
  • Compliance with regulations: Finally, organizations dealing with users’ data should take necessary steps to ensure conformance with data protection legislation, including GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA. To ensure that organizations can employ several data protection approaches such as purpose limitation, privacy by design, data minimization, and provide users the right to access, modify or delete their data.

In short, kiosk mode is an incredible feature offered by MDM solution that helps organizations to perform specific tasks in a public setting. However, on the other hand, it poses serious security risks if it is not handled accurately. Therefore, organizations must employ proper security mechanisms and update the system periodically to avoid cyber-attacks