CYOD and the Employee-Employer Data Implications

CYOD and the Employee-Employer Data Implications

Many companies let employees choose their work devices (CYOD). Employees get to pick devices that suit their skills and lifestyle. Companies hope to see faster ramp-up, better productivity, and happier people. And BYOD typically means that companies get to use the employees’ own devices for work.

The result is that employee personal files ends up on work laptops and work email and data on personal phones. What happens if devices get lost, or the employee leaves?

Some BYOD solutions take a draconian approach by remotely wiping/resetting a phone if there’s a risk – fine for the company but awful for the employee, since their personal stuff is gone too. Partitioning solutions promise to improve this, but it’s still mobile-centric and what about the rest of the CYOD picture?

For most of us, a computer is central to your work life, and even more so for traveling workers who live out of their laptop. It’s your world and so personal files are inevitably stored on it. When there is a loss or parting of the ways the employee needs an opportunity to remove their personal property (and not have it seen by others who will inherit the computer). When I was laid off from one company I had to really dig my heels in to be allowed to remove my personal stuff – an awkward process at an already difficult time.

Another consideration is work backups, which unless configured appropriately will contain personal material (and I’ve inherited enough prior employee’s laptop images to know this is true!).

CYOD means that the control of personal and work property needs to be an openly agreed two-way street. Employees need personal space on their work laptop/desktop, and the company needs work space on employee-owned mobile devices. We must each have control over the spaces that contain the stuff we own, so when we part ways or the device goes missing, we can take whatever measures we feel is necessary without wiping out data that doesn’t belong to us.
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