Academic journal article Journal of Corporation Law

Contextualizing Bring Your Own Device Policies

Academic journal article Journal of Corporation Law

Contextualizing Bring Your Own Device Policies

Article excerpt

I.   Introduction to Bring Your Own Device Policies II.  BYOD in the Modern Workplace and Legal Responses      A. BYOD E-Discovery Issues Arising in Legal Proceedings         1. In re Pradaxa: Employer in Control Model         2. Cotton: Employer Does Not Have Control Model         3. Small and Ewald: Contrasting Results with Little Analysis      B. BYOD and the Interaction with Personal Privacy Concerns      C. BYOD Windfall Compensation Concerns III. Analysis of BYOD Policy Issues in Light of Current Case Law      A. BYOD and E-Discovery Concerns      B. BYOD and Employee Privacy Concerns      C. BYOD Compensation Concerns         1. Employee Rights to Protect Personal Data         2. Is Cost-Sharing the Future of BYOD Implementation?         3. BYOD Wage-and-Hour Pitfalls IV.  BYOD Policy Recommendations and Implementation Guidance      A. Corporate Data on a BYOD Device      B. Comprehension and Consent      C. Personal Data on a BYOD Device      D. Employee and Employer Rights and Responsibilities      E. BYOD Expenses V.  Conclusion 


Whether a large corporation or a small local business, the need for mobile technology in the workplace has skyrocketed. By 2022, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) market is predicted to reach nearly $367 billion, which is an unprecedented increase from just $30 billion in 2014. (1) Today, businesses have several mobile strategy options to choose from. However, BYOD is by far the most popular option. BYOD is typically a policy in which an employer allows an employee to bring their personally owned devices into the workplace in order to access company applications and information. Although BYOD initially seemed vastly beneficial, time has exposed issues for both employers and employees. In today's technological society, employers must weigh the risks of adopting a BYOD program against their industry needs, budget, IT, and organizational culture.

This Note explores the development of BYOD policies, the risks and benefits for both employers and employees, and advocates for written policy as the primary method to successfully implement a BYOD system. By analyzing current case law, statutes, and innovative BYOD policies, this Note addresses the three largest issues surrounding BYOD: e-discovery in legal proceedings, compensation, and privacy concerns. This in-depth examination reveals that these issues largely stem from unclear or unstructured policies. Finally, the Note provides recommendations for a strong and defined written policy that outlines both employer and employee responsibilities in the management of BYOD.


BYOD policies rapidly expanded during the 2010s in IT communities and have become increasingly common in other professional fields. (2) However, the idea behind BYOD has existed ever since employees began bringing their own flash drives and installing preferred programs on their work computers. (3) Businesses have continually embraced employees' increasing access to technology. This especially is true of mobile devices--in 2015, 64% of Americans owned a smart phone, (4) and according to a TechPro study, 74% of employers allow employees to use mobile devices for work purposes--or will within the next 12 months. (5) Employers immediately recognized some of the benefits inherent in BYOD, such as lower hardware and service costs and increased employee mobility and flexibility. (6) However, the law has been slow to address the issues arising from BYOD programs. Currently, there are no statutes directly addressing BYOD policies on a federal or state level. However, case law surrounding BYOD is slowly developing. (7)

A. BYOD E-Discovery Issues Arising in Legal Proceedings

Perhaps the most complex and least anticipated issue that arises with BYOD policies is what happens when the business is facing litigation. This Part focuses on data preservation issues that inherently arise in an e-discovery context. …

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