Executive Briefings

Sorry, But You May Not Be Able to Dial Up Company Info on Your Employees' Private Phones

Employees are increasingly using their personal mobile devices on the job, often with the explicit approval of their employers. But while that permits more work to be done outside the office and at odd hours while sparing companies from paying for the devices, it doesn't add up to a pure win-win situation. For most businesses, some degree of risk is involved when company information resides on employees' smart phones or PDAs.

In a recent memo, law firm Mayer Brown discusses a growing legal risk involving mobile devices. If a company is sued or investigated, it could be required as part of the discovery process to provide electronically stored information relevant to the case. If such data is stored on employees' personal devices, the company may be in an awkward position, the firm points out. While it may have an internal policy stating that all company information belongs to the company wherever it is located, the law is not yet settled as to whether the company can compel employees to hand over personal devices.

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Employees are increasingly using their personal mobile devices on the job, often with the explicit approval of their employers. But while that permits more work to be done outside the office and at odd hours while sparing companies from paying for the devices, it doesn't add up to a pure win-win situation. For most businesses, some degree of risk is involved when company information resides on employees' smart phones or PDAs.

In a recent memo, law firm Mayer Brown discusses a growing legal risk involving mobile devices. If a company is sued or investigated, it could be required as part of the discovery process to provide electronically stored information relevant to the case. If such data is stored on employees' personal devices, the company may be in an awkward position, the firm points out. While it may have an internal policy stating that all company information belongs to the company wherever it is located, the law is not yet settled as to whether the company can compel employees to hand over personal devices.

Read Full Article