remote wipe Stories January 22, 2014

Using your own smartphone at work? Watch that it doesn’t get wiped when you leave …

Employees who use their own electronic devices at work under a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) arrangement may have unwittingly authorised their employer to remotely wipe their device when they leave the company, reports the WSJ.

In early October, Michael Irvin stood up to leave a New York City restaurant when he glanced at his iPhone and noticed it was powering off. When he turned it back on again, all of his information—email programs, contacts, family photos, apps and music he had downloaded—had vanished […]

It wasn’t a malfunction. The device had been wiped clean by AlphaCare of New York, the client he had been working for full-time since April. Mr. Irvin received an email from his AlphaCare address that day confirming the phone had been remotely erased.

A survey found that 21 percent of companies perform a remote wipe of employee-owned devices registered on the company network, with employees ostensibly agreeing to this when they connect to the company network.

Many employers have a pro forma user agreement that pops up when employees connect to an email or network server via a personal device, he added. But even if these documents explicitly state that the company may perform remote wipes, workers often don’t take the time to read it before clicking the “I agree” button.

The legality of the practice has reportedly not yet been tested in court.

In principle, backup should allow wiped Android devices to be restored, but you may want to pay a little more attention to the small-print next time one of those corporate messages pops up on your screen, to find out what it is you’ve been agreeing to …

remote wipe Stories August 2, 2012

Google introduced a new feature last year for Google Apps for Business admins that allows them to manage a large set of mobile devices across all platforms. Admins can make settings, like allowing or blocking the phone’s camera, which then requires employees to set passwords on their devices, and making a way for administrators to set data encryption policies for users’ devices. It is an easy way to manage a ton of devices.

To hopefully make things a bit easier, Google unveiled a new feature for administrators today that gives users (employees) the ability to remotely wipe data off their phone from the moment it is lost or stolen. The feature is very similar to Apple’s Find My iPhone, which just today allowed New York Times reporter David Pogue to locate his iPhone. Users will be able to view their device from the “My Devices” page, where the PIN on the phone can be reset and the device can be locked, rung, or wiped. Non-work Android device users have had a similar feature for quite sometime. We all know it is a scary situation when a personal artifact is lost, so having the ability to somehow find it is always welcomed.

[Enterprise Blog]

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