Some of you may be saying to yourselves, “What is BYOD and why do I need to learn about it?” The answer is because it is 2015 and each of us is carrying around a computer in the form of a phone in our pocket or purse, not to mention all of the iPads, Surfaces, laptops, etc. So what exactly is BYOD?

BYOD is the acronym for “bring your own device”, which refers to employees who bring their own computing devices into their workplace. This is an issue for a lot of reasons, and is important to both employers and employees. The issues include whether personal devices can connect to an employer’s secure network, an employer’s confidential information or trade secrets leaving the workplace on a device or whether employees’ devices are subject to search by the employer, let alone being remotely wiped (erased) to prevent sensitive information from potentially being lost or used improperly. If you are an employer, do you know what type of devices your employees bring to work and how they are using them? If you are an employee, do you know whether your employer has a BYOD policy, what it says and what your rights and obligations are under that policy?

Because of these issues, BYOD policies by employers are becoming quite common. Employers need to decide whether to implement a BYOD policy and their options in setting the terms of such a policy. Employees need to understand their rights and the rights of their employer under those policies. The options on how to deal with these issues vary, and what makes sense depends on the type and size of a business.

If you haven’t heard of BYOD before now, you will continue to hear about it in the future. And you will want to know about it no matter what side of the equation you are on to understand your rights, responsibilities and obligations.

So, for the first time in this blog, I have what I will refer to as a shameless self-promotion: My partner Laura Rogal and I will be speaking on BYOD issues at the Apple Store, Biltmore ( at 8:00 a.m. on October 28, 2015. And please feel free to forward this invitation (BYOD Event 10-28-15) to anyone you think may be interested.