Cell Phone and Text
Messaging Risks, Rules,
Policies, and Best Practices
In business and personal life, the cell phone has become ubiquitous. In 2007, there were some 236 million business and residential cell phone users in the United States alone, up from 4.3 million in 1990, according to the Cellular Telecommunications 0026 Internet Association.1
Cell phone technology actually has triggered a cultural shift in our society, with handheld phones making coin-operated pay phones and the iconic phone booth obsolete. Once a common2014and in-demand2014feature of airport terminals, street corners, and hotel lobbies, working pay phones in public booths are now almost impossible to find. As recently as 1998, there were 2.6 million pay phones in service across the United States. Today that number has dwindled to 1 million, motivating AT0026T to announce it would vacate the coin-operated pay phone business by year-end 2008.2
It2019s no surprise that cell phone technology so swiftly brought the pay phone era to its end. The cell phone offers users the freedom to make or take a call, send text messages, and transmit photos and vid- eos2014features most callers simply never dreamed of just a few years ago.
Unfortunately, the cell phone, just like other electronic business communication tools, saddles employers with increased risks. Poten- tially costly cell phone2013related disasters include driving-related insur- ance and legal claims, lost productivity, security breaches, data theft,