NEVER mix your employer and your smartphone


Seriously. Never, ever mix them.

NEVER mix your employer and your smartphone /img/spy-on-employees.jpg

Rachel By The Bay recently shared that she bought a second phone just because she wanted THAT other phone, and that only, to “take the burden of all of the crap her new employer was about to throw at her”.

Do follow Rachel’s example, if you can

Here is why, in her own words, but read the full story to appreciate all the implications, and how things got worst for employees in the last decades:

“When smartphones were becoming a thing, it was becoming kind of expected that you would sign into your “corp” gmail to keep tabs on things. I certainly had done that, and I’d use my phone to see if anything was going on.”

“Around 2009 or 2010, the company… said that our original NDA somehow hadn’t gotten signed (what?), and that we needed to re-sign it. I asked HR for a copy of the original one from back when I started, so I could… see what had changed.”

And indeed, there were changes…

“One of them amounted to ‘taint’ for your personal devices. Basically, if you signed in to your corp gmail from a device, they claimed the right to audit it at any point in the future.

[Rachel’s] immediate response was to stop checking mail (or really, doing anything else work-related) from her personal devices: “My iPhone, my personal machine’s web browser, all of that stuff? I just let it go. Whatever it was could wait until the next day at the office.”

She did, eventually, sign the new NDA “even though it was a crock of shit and I knew it… [but of course, I never touched “corp” stuff from any of my devices again.”

Later on, Rachel started to work for Facebook, who “made this easy, if you took the right steps. On your first or second day of work, you get a laptop and a phone”, on which one could create entirely new accounts, in order to NEVER have to do “company stuff” from her own personal devices. In that way, and in that way only (again, read the full post for details, Rachel:

  1. “managed to go that entire [period at Facebook] without ever loading or accessing any of that stuff from my personal phone”, or sharing her personal phone number):
  2. when she left Facebook, “since all of my stuff was separate, I just logged out of iCloud on the devices (at their request), left ‘em on the conference room table, and headed for the door. Easy!”

Then Rachel went to Lyft, that…

“didn’t issue phones, but did expect her to load a ton of apps on HER personal phone. [She] found out about this the day before [she] started, and so picked up a new phone to keep it all walled off. It, too, got a new iCloud account, even though it was still a personal device.”

When she left Lyft, she “just deleted all of their crap from the phone. If they had tried to encumber that device, I would have become the biggest Karen you can imagine and blown it up all over every outlet I could find.”

Is it the same where YOU work?

Stuff like this sucks, but not as much as the number of people who, in 2021, still don’t know it happens, or if they do don’t even get upset, and accept it as normal.

If you can’t rebel, OK, but at least be aware that too many companies demand this crap, and that this is crap. If you can, do follow Rachel’s advice.

Image source: “Is your boss spying on you while you work remotely?”

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