BYOD Management and Ownership Issues
The era of the company-owned and company-provisioned mobile device seems to be closed, however, there is still a permissions issue. This issue applies to more than just mobile devices, though it’s a rare company that seems to think them through for employees’ home PCs and other devices. This also extends to the telephone number used on a SmartPhone.
Organizations in government, health care, and defense especially face the legal question of who actually needs to own the device. Some more conservative organizations often decide they need legal ownership of the device.
There are three different approaches to handling ownership, in order of popularity:
- Shared management. The organization’s policies boil down to “if you access business resources from a personal device, you give us the right to manage, lock, and even wipe that device, even if you end up losing personal data and apps as a result.
- Corporate ownership and provisioning. The organization buys and owns the device, even if it allows nonbusiness use on it. Employees who don’t like the phone service on such devices (they may not get free minutes when calling family members and friends) are free to carry a personal device as well that has no corporate access.
- Legal transfer. The organization buys the device from the user. In some cases, that ownership is permanent. In other cases, the organization buys the device for a token amount (say, a dollar) and gives the user the right to use it for personal purposes, then commits to selling it back for the same price when the employee leaves the organization. That’s more likely to gain user acceptance than a one-way purchase.
The real questions that arise are when an employee leaves either voluntarily or involuntarily. Janco’s BYOD Policy template addresses this directly