BYOD ruling in California opens door for additional data reimbursements

Recently, a California court ruled that employees using their phones to make work calls should be reimbursed by their company. This raises various questions regarding data use, compensation and device security, and businesses need to assess their IT infrastructure with these issues in mind to make progress.

In an interview with CIO, David Schofield of the consultancy Network Sourcing Advisors described some of the effects of this ruling and what they mean in the long-term. Workers who access corporate networks from home fall into a similar category as those who make business calls, he argues, and the U.S. Labor Department believes this should be compensated, too.

Furthermore, the privacy and security worries of combining business and home life are so great that some employees are going a simpler—and more expensive—route of managing two devices. This has the potential to make it easier for businesses to reimburse.

"A lot of people are starting to carry two devices again," Schofield says. "The one for corporate will keep their business completely separate, and they'll be able to turn it off at night. Facebook, games, private conversations, and whatever else they're doing will also be completely separate on the personal phone."

A Gartner survey cited in a recent USA Today article found that more than half of employee respondents are willing to bend official company rules in order to use their own devices. In addition, nearly as many companies want to employee smartphone BYOD policies within the next three years.

Compliance with the law in a way that doesn't hamper productivity stems from well-managed IT. Network security monitoring is more essential for companies with a vast amount of individual device usage.