Peter Sperry

I worked for a private sector employer who had a BYOD policy as far back as 1996. Employees were provided a stipend every 2 years and could purchase whatever type of laptop they desired as long as it had the capability to run company software. A major factor in making the program work well was the employer’s willingness to strictly limit oversight. There were no usage audits, no restrictions on personal use, no big brother snooping into the employees’ personal cyber life etc. You received a check. You were expected to show up for work with equipment that could get the job done. What you did with your property on your own time was your business as long as you got your work done.

I am not sure I see the same dynamic being possible in the federal government. There is too much of a “Big Brother” mentality among leadership to allow for that type of independence. Telework regulations at several departments, including DoD, already require employees to make their homes available for inspection by supervisors on 36 hrs notice. BYOD proposals I’ve seen already include discussion of auditing personal usage, requiring acceptance of monitoring software, etc. These requirements are quite simply BS overreaction to minor potential problems. Frankly, if I am going to invest several hundred dollars of my own money in mobile devices, I will use them for my own purposes. If my agency feels I need to have mobile capability, they can either support my use of my own equipment on my terms or provide me a government issued device.

BTW, while we are monitoring personal use of mobile devices during government time, are we also recording government use during personal time and providing the appropriate comp time? I have no problems doing government work in the evenings, on weekends or whenever it needs to get done; but do not expect me to be available 24/7 on a mobile device and then turn around and ding me because I play around of Angry Birds during the day.