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Practical Tips for “Bring Your Own Devices” (BYOD) Policies and Practices

Cheryl D. Orr
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP - San Francisco Office

November 26, 2013

Previously published on November 19, 2013

The Issue: What do employers need to do to minimize risks (privacy, security, safety and wage and hour) caused by use of personal smart phones and tablets in the workplace?

The Solution: Employers can minimize their risks by:

  • Drafting clear and consistent policies that cover all technologies and servers used;
  • Having employees sign requests granting them access to the company’s systems and acknowledging when they can be wiped;
  • Confirming in writing that all information accessed through the company’s systems is confidential and company property and can be wiped if lost or stolen;
  • Ensuring compliance with the company’s codes of legal and ethical business conduct; and
  • Addressing when employees can use their devices for work and how they will be paid for this time and any associated reimbursable expenses.

Analysis: Employees can inadvertently expose their employers to loss of confidential or trade secret information, create liabilities when inappropriate material on their devices is shared and blur the lines between work and personal time in a way that could be compensable. By following the above practical tips, employers can protect both themselves and their employees. Our team regularly assists with developing BYOD policies and/or training personnel on how to implement should you need further guidance.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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