Consumerization 101 – Employee Privacy vs. Corporate Liability Arrow to Content

July 31, 2012 | Leave a Comment

Mary D. joined MD&M Inc. in 2009. Being an Apple enthusiast, she was quite excited to learn that the company offered an innovative BYOD program that allows employees to use their own iPhone for work. As part of the new hire package, Mary signed the acceptable use policy and was granted access to corporate email on the go.

Mary’s started having performance problems in her second year and her manager put her on notice. After six months, Mary was terminated. When her manager clicked the ‘terminate’ button within the company’s HR system, a series of automated tasks were initiated, including the remote wipe of all information on Mary’s iPhone.

As it turned out, Mary had been performing poorly because her son John was dying of cancer. Just a few weeks before Mary was terminated, her husband took a picture of her and his son using Mary’s iPhone. It was the last photo Mary had of her son, and MD&M Inc. unknowingly destroyed it. Mary sued the company for damages.

Just how much is the last photo of a mother and son worth? Attorneys and expert witnesses sought to answer that question. They arrived at $5 million.

Three pitfalls your BYOD program can’t afford to ignore.   

While Mary’s story is a fictitious case debated last year by the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), it’s just a matter of time before stories like this become mainstream reality. A recent survey by Trend Micro clearly shows that a majority of companies are already allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related activities– 75% of organizations in the U.S. offer BYOD programs.

Besides preserving data security and managing a myriad of personal devices, companies must also consider a new set of legal and ethical issues that may arise when employees are using their own devices for work. Here are just three pitfalls to consider:

Pitfall #1: Remote deletion of personal data:  Under what circumstances (if any) should the company have a right to remove any non work-related content from an employee-owned device?

Pitfall #2: Tracking individual location: What corporate applications might ‘track’ the location of an employee-owned device?  Is the employee aware that this is possible?

Pitfall #3: Monitoring Internet access: Should accessing questionable websites be restricted, when an employee is also using a personal device for work?

 

NEXT: BYOD Best Practices – Three pitfalls you can’t afford to ignore.

 

Cesare Garlati, Vice President Consumerization and Mobile Security, Trend Micro

 

As Vice President of Consumerization and Mobile Security at Trend Micro, Cesare Garlati serves as the evangelist for the enterprise mobility product line. Cesare is responsible for raising awareness of Trend Micro’s vision for security solutions in an increasingly consumerized IT world, as well as ensuring that customer insights are incorporated into Trend solutions. Prior to Trend Micro, Mr. Garlati held director positions within leading mobility companies such as iPass, Smith Micro and WaveMarket. Prior to this, he was senior manager of product development at Oracle, where he led the development of Oracle’s first cloud application and many other modules of the Oracle E-Business Suite.

 

Cesare has been frequently quoted in the press, including such media outlets as The Economist, Financial Times, The Register, The Guardian, Le Figaro, El Pais, Il Sole 24 Ore, ZD Net, SC Magazine, Computing and CBS News. An accomplished public speaker, Cesare also has delivered presentations and highlighted speeches at many events, including the Mobile World Congress, Gartner Security Summits, IDC CIO Forums, CTIA Applications and the RSA Conference.

 

Cesare holds a Berkeley MBA, a BS in Computer Science and numerous professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Sun. Cesare is the chair of the Consumerization Advisory Board at Trend Micro and co-chair of the CSA Mobile Working Group.

 

You can follow Cesare at http://BringYourOwnIT.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CesareGarlati

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