BYOD – Litigation Waiting to Happen
In an effort to address cramming overcharges at the hands of AT&T, the FTC in conjunction with its Federal and State Partners decided in late 2014 to settle with the telecom giant for an amazing $105 million dollars. Historically, this represents the largest settlement with a major mobile carrier.
The complaint claimed AT&T Mobility LLC was charging customers for third party services they had never requested, among them: language lessons, wallpapers, ringtones, horoscopes and celebrity gossip alerts. Because all the charges were lumped together, and AT&T made no attempt to individually identify them, clients presumed they were paying for standard AT&T services.
Now, can you imagine these kinds of errors occurring on hundreds of phones? In reality, they do happen…each and every day and you don’t have to be a client of AT&T to be victimized. Corporate owned cell phones are a prime target for this kind of scam. Sadly, some of the companies are making in an attempt to remediate these issues will probably result in greater and more costly bills and liabilities.
Initially, thousands of companies thought they could eliminate bogus charges by changing to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model. Basically, the goal of BYOD was to offer employees a monthly stipend and have them use their own mobile devices. It didn’t take long before very private corporate acquired information fell into the wrong hands. It seemed every day the news reported another serious hacking incident resulting in massive security breaches and countless cases of identity theft. To make matters worse, IT and security personnel had neither the authority nor the capability to wipe personal phones until the damage was already done. But they weren’t the only ones dealing with the nightmare. Employees were reluctant and resentful about having their phones examined.
Next came the Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) concept. This model would allow employees to select from a limited range of devices that the company would purchase. For example, employees could choose BlackBerrys, iPhones or other Apple devices. Androids, on the other hand were not permitted, as it is believed they cannot be wiped. This model was supposed to give Security and IT personnel more control regarding the management of employee devices and the data they contained. Then, on October 9th, a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America delivered some alarming facts that may render the CYOD model just as dangerous as BYOD.
According to the GMA report, a company conducted research buying 100 phones, believed to have been wiped. 31 of these devices still had significant personal information. Another article appearing in Forbes on-line also addressed the inadequacy of wiping: “This is particularly true when – as is often the case – the mobile device is owned by the employee. Even when implemented and managed correctly (the exception – not the rule), remote wipe does not lower risk in any significant way; it obfuscates the workable processes that do function to protect remote confidential data and creates the potential for very real privacy-related litigation.”
Let’s face it: The technologically savvy population is no different from any other group. For every seemingly beneficial security software created, some collaboration of brilliant but unscrupulous minds will develop a counteracting methodology. So yes, there now are several easily accessible anti-wipe spyware options for just about every brand cell phone. Sometimes, we just need to accept that newer doesn’t mean better. If individuals are careless with their own information, that is genuinely irresponsible. But, knowing what we now know, if a corporate entity compromises the confidentiality of others in an attempt to save money, it can only be defined as gross negligence.
On the positive side, there are also proven safe, cost saving solutions like those offered by Orpical Energy’s Wireless Cell Phone Management. Why Orpical Energy? Their extensive experience in wireless/cellular technology, enables them to productively utilize their substantial leverage with wireless providers. By employing innovative pooling techniques and negotiating strategies in conjunction with their access to unpublished pricing and discount data, they can and have saved companies hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. They are so confident in their ability to obtain savings for their clients that they work on a contingency billing model…so they are paid only if and when positive results are achieved.
The process couldn’t be simpler. Clients can:
- Keep their current carrier
- Keep their existing contract
- Use their existing equipment
- Avoid costly software fees
- Receive bill directly from their carrier
- Recover credits for billing errors, overcharging, and carrier negligence
Still not convinced…see some of Orpical’s clients:
- A & P Markets
- Philadelphia Flyers
- University of Pennsylvania (we saved them over $190,00.00 in 2 years)
- Temple University
- Gift of Life
- Hess Oil
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Philadelphia Business Journal
- Easter Seals
- Azur Pharma
- Astra Zeneca
- TD Bank
In the end, BYOD, and CYOD were neither as safe nor as economical as touted. Stick to the corporate owned and managed cell phone model. We’ll mitigate security risks and save you stress, and money in the process.
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