BYOD: Not the Party that BYOB Is

by Michael Haberman on March 7, 2013 · 2 comments


Using her own device to conduct work may have consequences for her and the company.

Using her own device to conduct work may have consequences for her and the company.

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device and it refers to the trend of employees using their own “smart phones” to conduct work by tying into a company’s IT system. Unfortunately there are consequences to the employee and the company for doing that and it is no party. One critical component

Attorney Travis Crabtree, of Looper Reed & McGraw, P.C., says the a BYOD policy is the intersection of HR, IT and legal concerns. Naturally as an attorney he is concerned with the legal aspects. He points out in The BYOD Policy: From The Yugo To The Cadillac, that your policy can be relatively simple or it can be complicated. However, regardless of which type you use there is one critical component that MUST be covered in each policy. As he states “the primary legal risk centers on the company’s need to access the employee’s personal phone and possibility to wipe it clean if the phone is lost or the employee is terminated.”

Wipe it out

Yep, you read that correctly. You need to reserve the right to wipe out an employee’s phone if needed. Naturally you need to make that option abundantly clear to the employee and make sure you have their signature on that policy. I would point out that consequence to them in particular.

Knowing that having their phone wiped clean is a possibility may inhibit many employees from embracing BYOD. The policies that need to be in place may also alter the view that the company has on allowing a personal device to be connected to company systems. So consider it carefully.

Sample policy

In his article, The BYOD Policy: From The Yugo To The Cadillac, Crabtree offers some very specific items that should be in a policy. Additionally he provides a link to a complete policy that can be adapted to your particular circumstances. Follow the link in the article title for more information.

Sign up for free HR Solutions updates via email

Omega HR Solutions, Inc. uses creative human resource solutions to provide answers to time, money and service issues with employers and their employees. Visit our Products and Services page for more information or contact us to learn how we can help your organization.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Wright March 7, 2013 at 9:40 am

Made me think of: Wipe Out. Happy Thursday, Mike.


adowling March 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

I worked for a company a few years ago that dealt with HIPAA concerns and with the new regulations they rolled out a policy similar to what you mentioned. They required employees at a certain level to use their own smart phone for company business and gave them a rather generous reimbursement. After this policy was rolled out, signing was mandatory for all staff, many of those employees took that reimbursement and bought phones specifically for work use. They were all afraid of having their phones remotely wiped either on purpose or by accident; no one wants to lose their cute pictures of their babies or pets. 🙂 Great post Mike!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: