Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are an emerging solution to a new problem: How can an employer control the movement of company data when employees use their own personal devices instead of company-issued devices? With the growing ubiquity of smart phones and digital appliances, it is more and more common to see employees managing their lives through their personal devices, which are often newer and more user-friendly than company-issued devices. Many employees do not want to carry multiple devices and would rather manage their lives on a single device. Likewise, companies are hesitant to devote increasingly large budgets to keep up with employees’ desire for constantly evolving mobile devices. BYOD policies can provide the solution.
Creating and implementing BYOD policies require joint participation of legal, management, compliance, risk, and information technology (IT), and require planning and forethought. If properly implemented, these policies can allow employees the flexibility of using their own devices to access company resources while allowing employers to maintain control over company data, reduce IT costs, and control overhead expenses. Properly implemented policies can also lessen the expense, time, and confusion inherent in litigation holds and discovery production from mobile devices.