Increasingly, especially in small businesses, companies are permitting employees to use their own…

Increasingly, especially in small businesses, companies are
permitting employees to use their own personal technology devices on the job.
Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are the primary technologies being used. This
has started a social movement known as BYOD— “bring your own device” to work.
The benefits to small businesses are several. If companies allow personal
technologies at work this means they have to spend much less on technology
resources themselves. Plus, many employees are more comfortable using their own
equipment and it is portable so they can take it with them. Companies also
benefit because the employees in possession of their personal devices are
“always working.” Some productivity gains may be expected. But, the use of many
gadgets leads to many risks. One major risk is the lost or stolen devices, which
can lead to huge headaches for companies. Once lost or misplaced, others can
access company information, some of which may be confidential or proprietary.
Most companies do not implement basic policies such as requiring lock codes on
the personal devices when they are used at work. Another big issue is
misappropriation of information. Personal devices make it much easier for
employees to take information when they leave. Thus, private information may
get in the hands of competitors or thieves. Viruses and other malware is
another troubling issue. Frequently, employees do not keep virus protection on
their personal devices up to date and an infected device could create problems
throughout a company’s network. Other issues include ownership, ability to monitor,
technical challenges, and unanticipated costs. As work steadily spills into
personal lives and companies continue to allow personal devices to be used on
the job, the dividing line between work lives and personal lives is beginning
to blur. This will pose additional problems for organizations and their staff
in the future.

1. What are the ethical issues at stake when companies
permit employees to use personal technologies on the job? What are the
implications for all stakeholders?

 2. On balance, should companies continue to allow personal
technological devices on the job or should they disallow them? If they allow
them, what policies should be put in place?