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Most business travelers use mobile apps (Photo: Wikimedia)

Smartphone apps are endangering corporate data security, according to a poll by the German Travel Association (DRV).

The association, which represents the German travel sector, interviewed 100 CEOs and 250 employees who regularly take business trips. The poll found that 65 pc of the companies didn't provide any guidelines for the use of smartphone apps on business trips.

Many business travelers use apps to help plan travel, make changes to airline bookings, check the weather or otherwise access travel-relevant information. But the DRV warned that new and unproven apps in particular can contain malware or spy programs that make it possible for third parties to access company data.

"If you don't provide clear guidelines to your staff for the use of mobile offerings, you are negligent," said Stefan Vorndran, chairman of the DRV's business travel section. He added that the absence of rules underlines how new the area of mobile communications still is for many companies.

Travel agents can provide travel-related apps that are tailored to the needs of business travelers and also assure data security, the association said.