It is becoming more common for employers to be asked by employees to connect their personal devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets to the employers’ IT systems. The convenience, flexibility and potential productivity gains make allowing an employee to ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) appealing.
However the use of BYOD, including in non-work hours, can present a number of risks for employers, if the arrangements are left unmanaged.
Factors to consider with BYOD arrangements
Employers need to consider whether it is appropriate to allow employees to access work systems from a personal device which may not have the security, and controls that company devices have. In order to protect a business’ interests it may be necessary for IT to have access to the personal device in order that confidential or sensitive information can be wiped in the event that the device is corrupted or lost.
Additionally, unmonitored connection of a business’ IT systems to personal devices could lead to breaches in confidentiality, unauthorised disclosure of confidential information and use of personal information that is contrary to privacy laws.
Employers may be able to avoid this by implementing measures that require employees to use passwords and report lost devices where confidential or sensitive information is available on the device.
There may also be surveillance issues for employers in certain circumstances when BYOD arrangements are entered into.
The value of appropriate policies
If employers wish to protect their legitimate business interests and guard against inappropriate employee conduct, appropriate policies are essential.
Policies should be put in place to cover BYOD arrangements where:
- employees are required by the business to use their own device such as a smart phone or tablet in the performance of their job; or
- an employee wishes to use their device to receive work related data and information via their own device.
The Employment Law team at Everingham Solomons is well equipped to assist you to prepare appropriate policies for your workplace because Helping You is Our Business.
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