What is an empoyer’s right to personal cell phone information?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is an empoyer’s right to personal cell phone information?

We have a new management company in our company even though we have company cell phones at work they want us to install stuff on our personal devices that would allow them to monitor and track us 24 hours a day and possibly be even able to see our email text and phone calls. Are there any laws protecting us from this or can they mandate this?

Asked on August 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Some employers allow workers to use their own personal cell hones (or other mobile device) for business purposes, either instead of or in addition to employer provided devices. This is known as "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD). Such a policies may appear in a BYOD agreement, employment contract, union agreement, employee manual, etc. When an employee decides to use their device or when their employee installs mobile device management software, it is important for an employee to read their employer's BYOD policy before participating in a such program. The law concerning employee rights when they use their own devices is changing as more employees use the same device for both work and personal purposes. This means legal issues are less likely to have clear cut answers. An employer has the right to monitor an employee's activities in general but employees have certain privacy rights. Further, if you are not being given a choice in participating in a BYOD program, then that may change things considerably. At this point, you should consult directly with a local employment law attorney. After reveiwing all of the details of your situation then can best advise you further. 

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