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How to craft the best BYOD policy

Tom Kaneshige | May 2, 2013
What is a good BYOD policy? Step one is to clarify the rights of both company and employee and state upfront what's business and what's personal. But there's a lot more to it. In this interview with a technology transactions lawyer, explores the do's and don'ts of BYOD policies.

Then there's so many places for data to be stored. Keeping custody of it is very difficult. It's creating a whole world of complications for companies that need to ensure they have access to their information. At the end of the day, the email doesn't belong to [the employee].

Information and data security are really big challenges for BYOD. To the extent that a policy can alleviate some of those challenges, a company should really take the time and make sure there's a policy in place.

Some companies have a BYOD mandate, meaning a person must acquire a smartphone and sign the policy as a term of employment. Do you think BYOD mandates are the future?

If I had a crystal ball, I think it's heading toward mandates. We've already seen this happen with lots of companies in industries where it wasn't really expected. In the law firm sector, for instance, it's beginning to take hold.

By becoming mandatory, this certainly begs the question: Don't we have to do a much better job making sure that we craft a program where the use of a device for business reasons can co-exist with the use of a device for personal reasons?

We have to ensure that all of the interests of the company, with respect to the security of its information and data, and all of the interests of the employee, with respect to the security and confidentiality of their personal usage, can live and breathe together in the same environment.

Can we craft a program where the mandatory nature of these programs isn't so unappealing to some people? I certainly think we can do that, and reflect that in a policy.


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