BYOD trends for 2016

The past year has seen a continued explosion in the use of mobile devices by employees. As the productivity and ease of use of these devices continues to increase, employers are yielding to employee preference to Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”). Accordingly, now is a good time to see what is on the horizon for BYOD in 2016.

BYOD will be the norm: Employers will increasingly shift to BYOD policies. The U.S. workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, and this mobility will require employers to permit employees to use personal mobile devices with which employees are most comfortable and productive. This continued shift to BYOD will strain IT and privacy professionals who seek to maintain the integrity of confidential business, consumer and employee information.

Litigation regarding BYOD use: A California court recently ruled that employers have an obligation to reimburse employees for the business use of their personal mobile phone. Other states have similar labor laws, and employees in those states are likely to advocate for their right to reimbursement in 2016.

Continued rise of wearables: Employees will continue to purchase and use wearable devices, such as smartwatches paired with a mobile phone. The ability to view and respond to e-mail messages and run other apps on smartwatches is convenient, but employers will struggle to keep track of where sensitive business data resides.