In light of apps like Firesheep that make it easy to capture unsecured data on public networks, and several hacking incidents, web application providers are moving towards securing all communications. Previously, sites like Facebook used HTTPS to only secure the login process, but now they are using HTTPS for accessing all parts of their site. While it is good that these sites are securing web communications, they need to provide the same security for their mobile apps that run on smartphones.
Foursquare is the latest web site to announce that they are using HTTPS for all communication, but they also plan to implement HTTPS for their smartphone apps. So far as I know, Foursquare may be the first of the social networks to announce plans to use HTTPS in their smartphone apps. For example, Facebook’s announcement that they are providing the ability for users to enable HTTPS makes no mention that HTTPS will be used by their iPhone and Android apps.
Given that the majority of smartphone users use apps to access social network sites, it’s important that these apps provide the same level of security as is provided for their web versions. Hopefully in the near future other social networks will follow Foursquare’s lead.