Employee convenience is one of the primary drivers for adopting a BYOD policy. However, just because it can make life easier doesn’t mean employees don’t have serious concerns about implementing BYOD in the workplace. From the employee perspective, there are downsides.
One particular issue that arises with BYOD is employee’s concerns about the privacy of personal data and applications. They have enormous personal data, including health information, photos, texts, emails, and other data stored on the device. Also, apps they may have installed could reveal information about their religion, politics, sexual orientation, or other characteristics that they may consider private and off-limits. Concern that their employer could see their data is legitimate; there are Human Resource implications here. Knowledge of certain data about an employee could make an employer vulnerable to discrimination laws. What about GPS tracking? Can the employer track employee’s whereabouts? The employer has a compelling interest in tracking the device if it is lost or stolen, but the employee has similar competing concerns about privacy.
There are no correct answers here, but a perception of overstepped boundaries could lead to an atmosphere of distrust that can be counter-productive. It is also important to make these decisions with knowledge of all applicable local, state, and federal regulations. In short, be aware BYOD is a complex decision that happens outside of the silo of IT.
Do you need a BYOD policy?