I am taking part in a webinar tomorrow organised by Inside Counsel in the company of Bryant Bell, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Guidance Software. Its title is Mobile devices and BYOD and the impact on eDiscovery.
BYOD is, of course, Bring Your Own Device, something which assumed rapid prominence with the launch of the iPhone. The dull corporate BlackBerry held sway for some time as the only approved device, prized for its rigid control and almost always owned by the company. iPhones, and then iPads and other tablets, were useful, fun and easily connected – even now, when I travel with my wife, her iPhone connects seamlessly to any Wi-Fi link whilst I have long given up trying to connect my BlackBerry.
As an employer, you can simply ban the use of personal devices or, at least, their connectivity to the company’s systems. That is to turn your back on the many opportunities for productivity and for inventiveness which can benefit the company. It is also, one hears anecdotally, a good way of driving away the productive and inventive employees whom you most want to attract and keep.
To an IT department, such devices represent a multitude of doorways through which data may leave and threats may enter the company’s systems. To legal departments, amongst many other considerations, come questions about discovery. Even before you get to questions like who owns the data, and the privacy implications which arise, will you even think to look on employees’ devices when eDiscovery obligations arise? Do even they know what they have got? Further, will you think to question the other side about it?
We aim to discuss the opportunities, the threats and the policy considerations which ought to be put in place to reconcile the many opportunities brought by such devices and the undoubted risks.
The webinar will be broadcast on Tuesday 4 June at 2.00p, ET / 11.00am PT | 7.00pm BST. Registration is here.