Email on Phone

Linked: Text Messages, EDiscovery, and the New Threat to Privacy

I don’t believe a lot of people understand this when it comes to BYOD situations:

By the way, something else that the phone’s owner should understand: the extraction will not be limited to “relevant” text messages. Such refined extracting and searching is not possible with text messages – at least not yet. Rather, all information available on the phone will be “extracted.” That’s right – not only all the texts, but all the photos, all the regular websites visited and searched, all the phone numbers called and all the phone numbers of in-coming calls, and all the other “privacies of life” teeming within the electronic brains of the individual’s smartphone.

Yes, that’s right, if you become subject to eDiscovery, and you’ve used your own, personal, cell phone to communicate with coworkers, or even do work, then that device is a source of discoverable information, and the process described in this article, is going to happen to you.

Frankly, I’m not sure what we are supposed to do about it either. There’s simply no way we are going back to the days when we worked on a computer in the office, and never anywhere else. And it’s highly unlikely that you’ll only ever use email to communicate. Text messages, and other apps are simply too easy, too much a part of our daily lives, to even consider that.

But, that means that some day, there’s a distinct possibility that some vendor somewhere is going to be searching through all of your texts, photos, videos, etc.

It’s worth keeping it in mind. As an employer, it’s worth being transparent about it too. I don’t think too many employment handbooks make clear what BYOD means in case of litigation. You may want to take a moment and correct that.

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