BYOD: Bring Your Own Device to work?

It is becoming the norm for businesses to allow their employees to bring their own electronic devices to use at work.  Maybe BYOD is driven by the younger generation’s need to have the latest and greatest technology; or, it may be driven by an employer’s attempt to save corporate money.  Either way, this personally-owned technology in the workplace creates an issue. 

Challenging legal and security implications arise with commingling personal and professional usage, data and ownership of electronic devices. 

Here’s a question: Who owns work-related compensation data on employee-owned devices?

The answer: According to attorney Taylor S. Chapman, the courts and legislature have yet to decide on this complex issue.

The line between business and personal ownership is starting to become blurry.  Because of this, corporate security concerns arise.

A recent survey by YouGov and Research Now found that 67 percent of surveyed companies had no policies or procedures to manage employees’ use of personal devices for work purposes, says Chapman.  If you don’t have these policies in place, you could be headed for trouble.  Bring Your Own Device to work can create real-world concerns.

Scenarios to consider:

  • An employee leaves your company but still has sensitive company data like rate ranges or individual pay data on a personal, dual-use device
  • A hacker preys on the unsecure smartphone carried by your employee and gains sensitive information
  • Your employees store company trade secrets on their personal devices, which leads to the information “leaving” your control    

So what can your company do to avoid and address these security concerns?  There are several different types of policies that can be added to your employee handbook. There is no “right” or “wrong” policy.  You just need to develop a policy that works for your specific business needs.


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