If one's personal smartphone is used for business, could it be subpoenaed should your company become a participant in a lawsuit? Could the entire contents of the smartphone, (and by extension, your entire personal account) become part of the lawsuit?
No, your personal device probably could not be held, but if you use it to send or receive e-mails or access and update company data, that data is held on company servers, so its irrelevant. What you should be worried about is the fact that if you hold company confidential data on your personal device, and that device is stolen (or even if you lend it for other purposes), you could be responsible for the loss or transferral of that data.
More and more, I'm hearing that people are using personal devices for business. There are a number of reasons. Some people prefer the iPhone over the company Blackberry. In another instance, I have a friend who quit using the company phone because the company was scrutinizing phone records to see if the company phone had any personal calls on it.
One thing that's not mentioned here is familiarity. Sometimes it's easier to use your personal device simply because you know it. Every new device has a learning curve and we don't always have time to do the learning.
Charles, another reason is everybody may not be willing to share their personal contact info with unknown or strange peoples. So they will give only company official contact details. Even I do share my personal contact details only with family and close related peoples, all others with company contact details (mobile number).
In response to "Do you use your company mobile device for personal reasons?" I bet many of us are guilty of that one.
I think this happens to a lot for those of us who deal with international phone calls and are never really "off." Often we get a phone call at 8:00pm since that is when the Chinese business day starts rolling. It would be way too hard to carry around two phones for phone calls so in this case the company (who of course has access to the phone records) can see personal calls being made, but its a trade off they are okay with since we are willing to accept business phone calls 24/7.
I cannot speak for all companies, but the last two I have worked for required travel. The companies provided company cell phones and laptops. They were very generous with using these devices for personal use. My thinking is that this has to be honored to some degree as you are sacrificing time away from family to travel for the company. The least they could provide is a means of communication. I do understand that this has to be tempered with common sense and you do not use the company supplied devices for extensive personal use.
Nancy, I do not feel any guilt in trying to communicate for personal reasons on company devices. Just as you pointed out, several times I communicate business on personal time!
I agree, GTOlover. I think what you said about being tempered with common sense is key. Unfortunately a lot of companies have become less tolerant because of flagrant abuse. A professional should know what constitutes abuse and what is a fair exchange. As always, one bad apple can cause a company response to an otherwise logical and efficient use of company resources...
Richard, but it seems that most of the peoples have a tendency to use official mobile for personal use because the expenses incurred will be borne by company. More over most of the peoples won't like to carry two devices at a time, due to inconvenience.
I worked for a company that demanded that I have a cell phone. They also were willing to pay for the phone and the minutes. In three years of working there I had about ten minutes of personal calls and all of the rest was Methode's company communications.
The email was a different story. They were very slow to get me an email account, so for the first few months I had to use my personal account. What was funny, I thought, was that when I needed to have customers email me photos, they usually had to come to my NetZero account because the mailbox for my company account was to small for more than about three photos. The customers always got a laugh out of that revalation. I don't know if the company has changed that since I left.
At another employer it was impossible to erase an email from your mailbox, which eventually caused problems. My workaround was to access that directory outside of the email program and open the file with my text editor. While the file could not be deleted, the contents could be erased and then the empty file saved. That reduced the size of the files enough to solve the memory problems. But it did take time. And I never used that email connection for anything except company business. One's email at that place was not private at all. It was written into the contract.
Great point TJ. I do contract engineering work and one client requires certain employees to have "smart phones". There are multiple buildings within the manufacturing complex and most of the "engineering and quality control types" cycle on a daily basis from building to building. Management likes to know where we are. It's basically our only communication system unless we are in the main building. No intercom at all. They do not provide "company" phones for individuals other than the three owners. The expense is our own "nickel". The very fact these mobile devices could be involved in the "act of discovery" never crossed my mind. Great point and one that I will definitely have to consider going forward.
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