Compromising Positions: End User Privacy In The Workplace

Protecting corporate assets but also an individuals privacy when using BYOD devices has become a criteria for evaluating end user management tools in the enterprise.  Privacy is something that end users are becoming more conscience of in their working lives.  There is a mutual advantage for both parties.This separation of an individuals personal and corporate life is not only beneficial to the end user but the corporation. This ensures there are no issues with an individuals personal life compromising the corporation.

In the past the thinking was that if IT owned the device the user gave up their right to privacy in the workplace. There is an interesting article in the Toronto Star: Supreme Court confirms privacy rights survive in the workplace that describe how the Canadian Supreme Court has examined this issue and in the case of Canadians there is a reasonable level of privacy expected in the workplace when using personal computers.

In a world where we no longer have a working day of 9 to 5 our devices are an extension of what we do in our personal and professional lives. The challenge however is how do you compartmentalize your life with a device that you use 7 by 24 without impacting your productivity?

I have not been able to quantify it and any stats would be appreciated but a large portion of the data within the corporate environment being backed up is not only spreadsheets, powerpoint, and email but family pictures, hockey schedules, school projects, and copies of Finding Nemo. Data that is being backed up in the enterprise is not necessarily corporate data. Storage in the enterprise on SANS, NAS and iSCSI devices is not cheap in comparison to the storage on local computers systems. The corporation having procession of this data places itself in a compromising position. No pun intended.

This is the approach that Orchard Parc takes with OPUS by creating this delineation by leveraging a corporate persona on Mac OSX. This allows an organization to separate the corporate world from the end users personal world.  As such it also gives a user a level of comfort that they know what to do and not to do in this corporate persona on this BYOD device. The corporate persona is like putting on your work clothes doing your job and at the end of the day changing back into your street clothes. As a result you are comfortable that you are dressed and acting appropriately.

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About donjduncan

Application/Technology Sales Engineer: BYOD,Cloud,Virtualization,Application Transformation,Mobility,Process,and Automation. Currently looking for new opportunities. Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/donjduncan Twitter: donjduncan
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