Old mobile phones are a security threat to Norwegian companies

Press release
5 minute read
Large amounts of sensitive information about Norwegian businesses are stored on old mobile phones that are no longer in use. Telenor are now raising their concern and urge Norwegian employers to focus more on safety in handling old and used phones, through their programme “Old phone new life.”
A survey conducted by Norstat on behalf of Telenor reveals that half of all employees that receive a new mobile phone from their employer choose to not return their old phone. The survey also states that 1 of 5 Norwegians is afraid that sensitive and personal information could be misused if they return their old phone for reuse or recycling.

“Telenor is worried about this development, and takes this issue seriously. Through the mobile recycling programme  ”Old phone new life” we ensure that businesses have a secure, proper and easy way to collect their employees used phones,” says Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway.

Serious consequences

The Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) shares Telenor concerns. They fear that a lot of sensitive information can get in wrong hands with used unsecured mobile phones lying around.

“The increased use of smart phones, compose a security threat for Norwegian businesses. People should bear in mind that their phone works as a credit card, online bank and family photo album. If its content is not properly deleted or the phone is not recycled, the consequences can be serious,” says Fredrik Ruud Johnsen, communications advisor at The Norwegian National Security Authority.

“Every phone collected by Telenor will get all of the personal and sensitive content 100% securely deleted with the use of Blancco Mobile, and get handled in a proper and secure way. After this procedure the phone will be delivered to either reuse or recycling. We ensure a secure transport solution and collect the phones at the company wherever in Norway they are situated. We can offer  locked containers handled by personnel that have been cleared by security if the customer has such needs,” says Svendsen.

Secure, proper and easy collecting of phones

Since 2009 Telenor has collected 400.000 mobile phones that has been reused or recycled through their campaign. Telenor continues the collecting of used mobile phones in Norway, and launches a campaign to help businesses that wants to take this issue seriously. Existing today are solutions fitted both for the business market and for personal use, and you do not have to be a Telenor customer to use the solution. Today, phones are collected at the companies, in Telenor stores, online, and from homes around the country with the help of The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF).

Reuse of phones creates new opportunities

The phones that no longer are usable will be sent to certified recycling and destruction. Svendsen thinks this is a great opportunity for the society as well through the programme.

“We work with long-term initiatives towards security and environment that are important aspects in our work with social responsibility. The reuse of phones through this programme creates new opportunities and makes communications services available in new markets, as well as reduces the impact on the environment through proper and secure recycling,” says Svendsen.

Further contact:

Elisabeth Helgesen, Communications Advisor, Telenor Norway.

Mobile: +47900035, e-post: elisabeth.helgesen@telenor.com

Fredrik Ruud Johnsen, Communications Advisor, The Norwegian Security Authority,

Mobile: +4791524492, e-post: fredrik.johnsen@nsm.stat.no