Bring your own device (BYOD) is a breaking concept whereby corporations allow/require employees to supply their own computing and communications platform (laptop/phone). It is colossally stupid and that is well documented elsewhere, but for us, it is worse than just having to preserve a different device, because BYOD introduces other parties with additional risk.
When we contract for normal corporate ePreservation services, we engage with a client and have one contract, one privacy agreement, one potential liability.
By permitting employees to use their personal devices, BYOD increases the likelihood that we’re going to have to take personal phone/laptops as part of an evidence preservation effort, and employees aren’t going to like us having access to their personal stuff on those devices. We wouldn’t want our stuff given to someone else, which is why we strongly recommend clients NOT permit the use of personal devices for corporate business other than phone calls. We can, after all, get those records from the phone company. Texting as well, but it’s a slippery slope, until we’re looking at the pictures you sent your friends last New Years Eve.
What’s worse for us, however, is the potential for 3rd party lawsuits. Your employee whose phone we take to image can potentially hold us liable for harm to the phone, themselves, or their reputation (ask a lawyer for the definitive list). How could that happen? The simplest case involves them having personally embarrassing photo’s on the phone and us losing control of it. It could happen. They can probably sue us for damages at that point. And the employer.
Even with a solid employee/company BYOD agreement in place, no such agreement exists between them and our company. Even if our contract can serve as a vehicle to transfer responsibility, it’s still a nasty business that could go either way depending on the forum.
Another example is a picture of a 4th party on the phone of the employee. Regardless of the employee’s ability to sue, the 4th party might be able to establish liability against all three other parties, quite reasonably. Ask a lawyer to explain it if you’re interested, we only know enough to know there’s potentially a lot of new problems with BYOD.
And that means new insurance, new procedures, and new billing codes. Yes, while you corporate types are calculating your bonus based on switching to BYOD, we’re looking at our bottom line as well, which means we’ll be charging you different rates for BYOD items. Which will undoubtedly not make it into the spreadsheets that show how big a bonus you deserve for implementing it.
Go ahead and BYOD, we’re ready to bill you for it.