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Bring your own device (BYOD) policies
Thanks to technological advancements, access to employee-owned devices such as computers, phones, laptops, and tablets have become the norm in modern workplaces. Although the monitoring of equipment owned by the company has already been taken for granted, the situation regarding the use of personal equipment is not clear. Consequently, companies have started to adopt BYOD policies that include employee monitoring practices- Guidelines for “bringing your own device” to work.
Bring Your Own Device policies are being developed by modern companies to ensure legal employee monitoring.
When implementing the BYOD policy for employee monitoring purposes, it’s important to take into account both: privacy concerns by employees and data security protection by the company.
BYOD policy musts
As discussed in the New York Law Journal, Dec. 3, 2012 edition, when implementing BYOD policies and perform legal employee monitoring, companies SHOULD:
1. Respect employees’ privacy by following relevant laws
- Any monitoring policy should identify the types of devices to which it may be applied.
- Another aspect of the BYOD policy is to agree consistent with the company software that could be used on personal devices to perform work responsibilities.
- Do not to break any privacy protection law, lawyers suggest that you agree with employees not to use the same applications for sensitive information and work projects.
2. State security measures the company may take to protect its data
- To check whether corporate data is protected while employees use their personal devices at work, its IT department may run a security protocol from time to time.
- Another detail which should not be missed is asking employees to back up their personal information before cooperating with the IT department, to avoid any privacy expectations.
3. Enumerate definite instances for monitoring and accessing personal devices
- It is advisable to acknowledge a zone of privacy and a zone of monitoring in a BYOD policy. For example, working hours, employee misconduct investigation, breach of contract, – could be enumerated as reasons for monitoring.
4. Agree on protection measures that would be taken during the use of personal devices in case of loss or theft
- To prevent unauthorized access, devices must be password protected. Trustworthy passwords could be ensured through password applications downloads provided by the company IT department.
- In case the device is lost or stolen, employees should notify the company in a given time.
Well-drafted BYOD policy eliminates privacy expectations by employees.
The BYOD policy for employee monitoring should not only imply employee consent to employer access to personal devices. Professional lawyers also advise that employers obtain written acknowledgments from their employees stating the latter have understood the policy, agree to follow it and to grant appropriate access to their devices for the employee monitoring purposes.
Written acknowledgment of employees’ consent to follow BYOD policy, – protect employers right to monitor.
This article provides general information only. This information is for general understanding only and not to be used as legal advice. To receive professional legal advice, please consult your lawyer.