September 24, 2013

What Privacy Do Employees Expect in a BYOD World?

In June 2013, MobileIron surveyed consumers in three countries (Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States)--seeking to better understand employees' mobile privacy expectations and thus help employers develop a set of practical BYOD guidelines. Since employees are the actual customers of a corporate BYOD program, these guidelines should be driven by their requirements, not just the requirements of the employer. Mobile is a partnership between employee and employer, and policies that serve the needs of only the latter cannot form the basis of a successful Mobile First initiative. This paper highlights the MobileIron Trust Gap Survey and implications for the enterprise.

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    The "trust gap" issue has been around forever. As long as I can remember, people have tended to blend personal communications with business communications on their "work computers." And corporate policies have been pretty clear that the company has access to whatever you have on your "work computer."

    But clearly, as indicated here, BYOD (Bring Your Own Disaster) has exacerbated this issue. And this article touches the very important tip of the iceberg - what the level of trust is in a stable corporate environment.

    I would be extremely interested to hear what our community does in the case of someone moving from one company to another - presumably taking their own device with them. How is corporate information removed while not having an impact on personal information. Clearly, a MDM solution is required.

    I recall attending a developers conference about 18 months ago and one of the questions asked (with answers subsequently posted on the presentation screen) was: "Which would you rather lose-- your wallet or your smart phone?" Not surprisingly, more of the attendees would rather have lost their wallet!

    As someone who was part of the majority response in the survey, I dread the day I may lose my mobile device because it is the one place that joins all my personal and professional email, calendar events, and contacts.

    I suppose my choice is to have two devices (one personal and one for business), but I willingly gave that up years ago when my employer gave me the "BYOD" option in exchange for reserving the right to remotely wipe away data stored on my personal mobile device. It wasn't the best solution, but for me it was better than carrying multiple phones.

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