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Do You Need an Employee Smartphone Policy?

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By Brett Snider, Esq.

A company smartphone is just like any other piece of company owned property that is issued to an employee. As such, your policy should reinforce that only work-related activities are to be performed using that phone.

Prohibited activities may include:
• Checking personal Facebook or Twitter profiles;
• Sending personal emails, phone calls, text messages, and instant messages;
• Any non-work-related Internet activity; and
• Using Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube.

Your policy should also remind employees that they have no expectation of privacy on a company smartphone. That can help insulate your business from any invasion of privacy claims if an employee is disciplined for breaking this policy.

Employee-Owned Smartphones
Many businesses have sought to cut costs but retain the benefits of a company smartphone by allowing employees to bring their own devices. This may require some additional policy considerations.

Since an employee-owned device can be used for work and for play, your business’ policy must be based on how it’s used. Smartphones, employee-owned or not, should only be used for work-related purposes while on company time or while using company resources (like your company’s WiFi).

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