I’ve been in training this week, and throughout the class I’ve had the chance to chat with some of the other trainees. Much of it has been in relation to the class’s topic itself, and I’ll talk about that another time.

The other day, though, we ended up discussing corporate mobile phone policies. One member of the group, a tech VP (though more down to earth than most), mentioned how he hated having to carry two phones. Four of us seated near him, one of us a manager but no other execs of any sort, pointed out that we wouldn’t dare not carry two. Everyone but me was able even to display both devices, my office having taken away my company-issued device. He was taken by surprise by this, but having gone into this plenty of times before I was able to articulate perfectly the concerns there. This is my personal device, I use it for personal reasons and corporate policy shouldn’t dictate that. Nor should my private contact info be my normal day-to-day work device: if people are in the habit of calling it all the time, it causes a massive problem for me in setting work/life boundaries. And of course it sets an expectation of ownership over what the company is or isn’t entitled to in relation to my personal property. Installing mobile device management software as many companies require these days means it can be remotely wiped, or monitored, in its entirety.

We also found that both our organizations were using the AirWatch MDM software, and that both found it to be… an unpleasant user experience, let’s say.

It was good to see the other members of a large corporation had found the exact same concerns I had, but even better to see a younger, clearly quite bright exec come to grips with these realizations about how workers use, and want to use, technology. I see, and respect, the need for security, but BYOD policies of today seem to be universally lacking the respect needed to make themselves a reality for most people.