Maintaining End Use Privacy in the Era of BYOD

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With the rise of bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace a lot of IT people suddenly have a lot of visibility into personal data residing on devices that connect to the corporate network. Obviously, from a privacy perspective it's only a matter of time before someone accidentally or on purpose winds up sharing data they shouldn't.

To address that specific issue Fiberlink has added a BYOD Privacy Settings feature to its MaaS 360 mobile device management service that protects personal employee information from being seen by the people that work in corporate IT. That capability, says Jonathan Dale, a product marketing manager for Fiberlink, includes blocking the collection of data from any application that has been personally installed by the user or any data related to a geo-location service.

Dale says personally identifiable information (PII) in the context of BYOD is already a major issue in Europe and is likely to become one of the major inhibitors to BYOD adoption worldwide. In fact, Dale says it's only a matter of time before some sort of significant security breach occurs.

While most IT professionals would never think to violate the trust of the employees that work in their organization, the best approach is to never put the temptation in front of them in the first place. While there's a lot of financial merit to BYOD, it should not become an invitation for the IT staff to get more personally involved with the people they provide IT services. And you can bet it won't be long now before concerns over who is looking at what mobile application data soon get extended to the internal IT organization as well.