Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: OSUJillyBean on September 20, 2013, 01:04:01 PM

Title: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: OSUJillyBean on September 20, 2013, 01:04:01 PM
I work in HQ for a large company in a cubicle farm.  December 2012 we were bought out by an even larger one and have been undergoing an awkward merger ever since.  There are a lot of bizarre examples but this one is really sticking in my craw this week:

IT has been installing some kind of app on employees' PERSONAL smartphones.

I myself am too cheap for a smartphone and the IT guy gave me an odd "this does not compute" look when I informed him of this fact.  He didn't seem to know how to handle it.  It apparently never occurred to the higher-ups that not every employee owns a smartphone. 

My coworker does have her own smartphone.  She likes to listen to music with earbuds in while she's working (which is 100% acceptable in our job, btw).  So she did not notice the IT guy stop by, grab her personal cell phone, and install some sort of data app.  She was flabbergasted when he handed it back to her. 

After he left, everybody but me has this app.  I do not know what it does although it requires "tokens" to activate and the IT guy did not hang around long enough to explain what tokens were or how to get them.  The company purchased a smart phone for our boss (an unprofessional woman who deserves her own story) but will not be purchasing them for the rest of us.  One coworker is worried that he might have to pay for any extra data used by this app.  I was wondering if they will be tracking people who play on Facebook, Twitter, etc. during work hours.  Can they see your private photos?  Read your texts?

I will admit here that I am not very technologically-inclined so that might just be paranoia.

Earbud-coworker (who had the app installed without her consent) was pretty livid and confused by the whole mess.  I, perhaps overstepping my boundaries, suggested she delete the app as her personal phone is of course her personal property and the company has no right to mess with it.  She did so.

Has anyone else come across this?  Am I correct in thinking that a company cannot put apps/programs on employees' personal phones?  Or is this a common practice?
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Judah on September 20, 2013, 01:09:00 PM
Well, they can if you allow it, but I would definitely not allow it. When the company starts paying my phone bill, they can do what they like with my phone, until then, no.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Shoo on September 20, 2013, 01:10:54 PM
If it were me and MY phone, first thing I would do is track down that IT guy and make him explain to me why he helped himself to my phone, and what, exactly, did he put on there?  What does it do, what is it for, and why didn't he bother asking me first before touching my personal property.  And then I'd ask for the company policy that states I have to have a company app on my personal cell phone.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 20, 2013, 01:16:48 PM
Our company offers applications that can be installed on pesonal cell phones. But it is not mandated and the employee needs to request it. I work for a Fortune 100 in IT and an IT guy installing something on a personal device without permission would be a major NO NO NO.

We have pretty tight security policies, so if you want to be able to access your company email from your personal smartphone we require you to install our email app, a firewall type app, and an app that forces a pretty strict password protection and the ability to remotely wipe your cell phone in case it is lost.

We also require what is caused two factor authentication to log into any of our IT systems remotely, so you have to not only enter your ID and password, but you also have to enter a random passcode that is generated by a token. They are referred to as tokens because the first ones came out about 15 years ago and they were little tokens that most attached to key chains that generated a random number. Now we can install a token app on our cell phone so we don't have to carry the token.

If I were the co-worker I'd alert the boss that IT was installing apps without employee approval and ask that he raise it up with the IT management.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Virg on September 20, 2013, 01:18:13 PM
I have to agree with Shoo.  I'd have lit the guy up for installing anything on a personal device at all (or for handling it in the first place), but doubly so because he didn't ask or even inform her about it.  Is this company attempting to get lawsuits filed against them for some reason?

If someone who worked for me did this, they'd be explaining to me why they should still have a job.  I can see asking, and while I don't agree I can see an argument made for insisting, but in no case is it ever acceptable for a company representative to take possession of personal property without permission or notification.

Virg
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Jones on September 20, 2013, 01:20:24 PM
If they didn't sign anything agreeing to or explaining this maneuver, I see no reason to not delete the app.

ETA: I confuse myself with my own double negatives. In other words, I think the coworkers should delete this invasion on their personal hardware.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Curious Cat on September 20, 2013, 01:20:54 PM
I keep my phone locked so no one can get on it but I would be livid if I was in her shoes. I'd also immediately delete the app.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: QueenfaninCA on September 20, 2013, 01:21:23 PM
That's why my smartphone is protected with a pin code. Without the code you can't switch it on.

But yeah, I'd find out pronto what the heck IT guy did and who gave him permission to do that.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: amylouky on September 20, 2013, 01:26:08 PM
Yep, I'd be raising holy heck about this. Your company has absolutely no right to install anything on your personal phone, without your permission.
Now.. my company DOES have an app that they install on personal phones, but only at employee request.. it allows the employee to access company email on their phone. I'm in IT, and I can't even imagine just going up and sneaking someone's phone.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Carotte on September 20, 2013, 01:41:35 PM
Holy what oO!
I'm not in IT but spend a considerable amount of time with "information system security" big shots and well, bathroom reading material is often stuff about computer and security :).
I had heard that the BYOD (Bring your own device) was already a big security breach in companies that still have no policy about it or just don't care.
Hmmmmm's job knows how to do it properly, the OP's job is actually opening themself to even more trouble.

If IT guy installed something on the coworkers phone without problem, then any one can steal it and have some kind of access into the company, somehow I don't think that's such a good idea  ::)
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on September 20, 2013, 01:42:05 PM

We have pretty tight security policies, so if you want to be able to access your company email from your personal smartphone we require you to install our email app, a firewall type app, and an app that forces a pretty strict password protection and the ability to remotely wipe your cell phone in case it is lost.

We also require what is caused two factor authentication to log into any of our IT systems remotely, so you have to not only enter your ID and password, but you also have to enter a random passcode that is generated by a token.   

Mine does almost exactly the same thing. Which I do not take advantage of since there is no need for me to have a constant barrage of work email when I'm not working, nor am I like some of my CWs who feel the need to be "dialed in" every waking hour.  we do not, however, have a company "app" we are just too small, and quite honestly, I don't know what it would even be useful for if we had one.

But if someone in our IT dept simply snatched my phone, and downloaded some company app, oh no no no no. someone would be hearing about it, and it wouldn't be pretty. I think your CW was fine in simply deleting the app. I can't imagine any reason WHY a company would have any policy requiring that, let alone not communicating it to the employees.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: OSUJillyBean on September 20, 2013, 01:52:29 PM
I feel our boss must have been informed of this because she has a new company-provided smartphone with the app on it.  She got it the same day the IT guy was "lurking" and wasn't surprised so she knew the new-phone-with-app thing was coming.  She just didn't bother to inform the rest of us lowly peons.

I finally worked up the nerve to ask the 2nd-in-command lady her thoughts on the matter.  2IC agreed with me and informed that her phone hadn't worked with the app anyway, nor did she want it.  She also told earbud-coworker that it was perfectly fine to delete it as the app was supposed to be OPTIONAL.

Funny how the IT guy made it seem like an outright requirement and obviously didn't know what to do with me, the cheapskate with the $20 Walmart pay-as-you-go flip-phone.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on September 20, 2013, 02:02:30 PM
I feel our boss must have been informed of this because she has a new company-provided smartphone with the app on it.  She got it the same day the IT guy was "lurking" and wasn't surprised so she knew the new-phone-with-app thing was coming.  She just didn't bother to inform the rest of us lowly peons.

I finally worked up the nerve to ask the 2nd-in-command lady her thoughts on the matter.  2IC agreed with me and informed that her phone hadn't worked with the app anyway, nor did she want it.  She also told earbud-coworker that it was perfectly fine to delete it as the app was supposed to be OPTIONAL.

Funny how the IT guy made it seem like an outright requirement and obviously didn't know what to do with me, the cheapskate with the $20 Walmart pay-as-you-go flip-phone.

Good for 2nd in command; it seemed fishy to me that it would be required.  Hahaha - I do have a smartphone, but....I am on a pay as you go plan, which is 1/4 the cost of the same plan with providers who require contracts, etc. Yes, I had to buy my phone outright, but its still much cheaper than one of those, with a free or subsizied phone.

I get people who look at me funny all the time, like you DON'T have big, national provider? Why no, I don't. and I get enough minutes etc. to suit my needs, and its affordable for me.

And I do know some folks who also don't have smartphone; I figure their choice, their money, but have heard others who just can't fathom that not EVERYONE wants the latest and greatest.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: nayberry on September 20, 2013, 02:03:13 PM
+1 to having a pin, only me and my hubby know it.

and if he'd tried i'd have probably replied in a confused way ;) "but i don't have a work phone, oh my PERSONAL phone, no thanks i don't install third party apps." and turned back to what i was doing
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: MrTango on September 20, 2013, 02:06:18 PM
If someone somehow managed to get their hands on my smartphone (without my knowledge) for long enough to download and install an app, I'd be furious.

I'd immediately delete the app and report them to management for attempting to steal and sabotage my personal property.

If I was a customer of that company, I would cease my business relationships with that company immediately unless they immediately fired the offending party.

If I was an employee of the company, I'd start looking for another job where my personal property is respected.

Well, they can if you allow it, but I would definitely not allow it. When the company starts paying my phone bill, they can do what they like with my phone, until then, no.

I'd go a step further, actually.  Even if they did offer to pay my phone bill, I'd decline.  If they want to issue me with a company-owned phone for me to use for company-related tasks, I'd be fine with that, but my personal phone is my personal phone and I will not do my employer's business on my personal phone.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 20, 2013, 02:13:55 PM
Wow! I'd be pretty livid too! 

My DH got a smartphone because his company needed him to have one, as he needed a phone with a good camera and the ability to check email and send pictures back to the office in order to get the right parts for appliances. 

But the company does help with the cost of the bill so it's not a problem with us.  It would be if they had insisted we have one when it wasn't really needed for the job and refused to pay but then put an app on there without asking. Oy.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: WillyNilly on September 20, 2013, 02:17:16 PM
I paid a lot of money for my smart phone. My money. And that makes it mine, and mine alone. No way would I be ok with this, at all.

I think OP you, or maybe your co-workers since it didn't actually happen to you, should put this complaint in writing to management (your manager, the IT manager, etc). This is, to me a VERY BIG DEAL and not just something that should be overlooked and the app simply deleted. This type of behavior sets a very bad precedent. What if next time its tracking software that can't really be deleted (sometimes apps can appear to be deleted but are actually still there, running in the background inaccessible).
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Hillia on September 20, 2013, 02:22:16 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 20, 2013, 02:23:40 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Hillia on September 20, 2013, 02:29:01 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project.  Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Arila on September 20, 2013, 02:32:09 PM
Work can put stuff on my phone when they pay for my phone.

I wouldn't mind a company paid for phone and getting emails on something smaller than my laptop either, but since I don't have one, I'll switch off/leave the baggage behind if I want to.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 20, 2013, 02:37:27 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project. Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.

They've never  heard of the 18th Amendment?

Actually, I was thinking of a situation in which an employee would be at the grocery store or at dinner or the like, would get an e-mail and would be expected to read it and reply right then.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on September 20, 2013, 02:57:05 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project. Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.

They've never  heard of the 18th Amendment?

Actually, I was thinking of a situation in which an employee would be at the grocery store or at dinner or the like, would get an e-mail and would be expected to read it and reply right then.

Prohibition? I think you might need to recheck your numbering.  ;D
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Eeep! on September 20, 2013, 03:14:11 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project. Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.

They've never  heard of the 18th Amendment?

Actually, I was thinking of a situation in which an employee would be at the grocery store or at dinner or the like, would get an e-mail and would be expected to read it and reply right then.

Prohibition? I think you might need to recheck your numbering.  ;D

Considering the whole working overtime to meet deadlines and such, I think the 21st might be more fitting.  >:D
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: squeakers on September 20, 2013, 03:30:54 PM
Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?


If you are salaried? Yeah.  DH even works when we are on vacation: there isn't anyone else who can do his job, his bosses have no clue on how to do his job and his subordinates are nowhere near his technical level.  So he can talk them through steps but he's the one who has to sign off on stuff. 

Then there is payroll ... he has to do it for his people or they don't get paid on time. Which is why in addition to a company phone he also has a company laptop.

And since some of the companies his company does business with are on the other side of the world there have been times when he has to do conference calls or troubleshooting calls late at night.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 20, 2013, 03:34:38 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project. Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.

They've never  heard of the 18th Amendment?

Actually, I was thinking of a situation in which an employee would be at the grocery store or at dinner or the like, would get an e-mail and would be expected to read it and reply right then.

Yes, in IT, its pretty common. If I have two people who administer an application that goes down but I have people in another geographic region needing to use it, it doesn't matter if it's 9pm their local time, I need one of them to log in remotely and get the system back up. It's pretty common in IT actually. Though we try to have global coverage for basic support items, you can't always have senior experts on every issue across all three regions. But it's something you are aware of when you get into IT.

I'm sure people in public relations, HR, and other industries have the same issue. Even office facilities employees may need to respond in the case of an emergency if there has been some type of damage done to the office.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: nuit93 on September 20, 2013, 04:26:51 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

Speaking as an American--yes, if they are salaried and the job requires it.  IT comes to mind.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 20, 2013, 04:31:58 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project. Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.

They've never  heard of the 18th Amendment?

Actually, I was thinking of a situation in which an employee would be at the grocery store or at dinner or the like, would get an e-mail and would be expected to read it and reply right then.

Prohibition? I think you might need to recheck your numbering.  ;D

LOL! Sorry about that. It's been one of those days.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 20, 2013, 04:33:04 PM
Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?


If you are salaried? Yeah.  DH even works when we are on vacation: there isn't anyone else who can do his job, his bosses have no clue on how to do his job and his subordinates are nowhere near his technical level.  So he can talk them through steps but he's the one who has to sign off on stuff. 

Then there is payroll ... he has to do it for his people or they don't get paid on time. Which is why in addition to a company phone he also has a company laptop.

And since some of the companies his company does business with are on the other side of the world there have been times when he has to do conference calls or troubleshooting calls late at night.

I trust it's worth it.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 20, 2013, 04:58:23 PM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project. Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.

They've never  heard of the 18th Amendment?

Actually, I was thinking of a situation in which an employee would be at the grocery store or at dinner or the like, would get an e-mail and would be expected to read it and reply right then.

Yes, in IT, its pretty common. If I have two people who administer an application that goes down but I have people in another geographic region needing to use it, it doesn't matter if it's 9pm their local time, I need one of them to log in remotely and get the system back up. It's pretty common in IT actually. Though we try to have global coverage for basic support items, you can't always have senior experts on every issue across all three regions. But it's something you are aware of when you get into IT.

I'm sure people in public relations, HR, and other industries have the same issue. Even office facilities employees may need to respond in the case of an emergency if there has been some type of damage done to the office.

As long as people know what they're in for,...
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Perfect Circle on September 20, 2013, 05:12:05 PM
At least on my iPhone the IT guy wouldn't be able to install anything without my password - it is required for downloading even free apps. Perhaps that is different for other phones, but he would have no luck with mine.

For me it would depend on the app and its purpose but it would have to be something pretty beneficial to me for me to accept in my personal phone.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Harriet Jones on September 20, 2013, 06:35:28 PM
Yeah, I don't understand how the IT guy could even install something without the person's iTunes (or Google Play) password. 
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: MrTango on September 20, 2013, 06:43:22 PM
Yeah, I don't understand how the IT guy could even install something without the person's iTunes (or Google Play) password.

My phone does not ask for a password before going in to Google Play.

If I'm already using an app (such as my music app, or Youtube), it doesn't require a password to activate the screen, either.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on September 20, 2013, 06:51:25 PM
Yeah, I don't understand how the IT guy could even install something without the person's iTunes (or Google Play) password.

My phone does not ask for a password before going in to Google Play.

If I'm already using an app (such as my music app, or Youtube), it doesn't require a password to activate the screen, either.

Mine doesn't either. I just go, find what I want, and download.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: stargazer on September 20, 2013, 07:29:29 PM
Mine does.  You have to enter my password.  Did no one have a personal password to their phone?  Was no one asking WHY the IT guys was taking their phones and adding this app and clarifying whether it was optional or required?  I just cannot imagine ever handing over my personal phone to our IT guy and if he just TOOK it from me to do so, well he couldn't without a password and there would be hell to pay.  This seems very odd.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: squeakers on September 20, 2013, 07:32:05 PM
Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?


If you are salaried? Yeah.  DH even works when we are on vacation: there isn't anyone else who can do his job, his bosses have no clue on how to do his job and his subordinates are nowhere near his technical level.  So he can talk them through steps but he's the one who has to sign off on stuff. 

Then there is payroll ... he has to do it for his people or they don't get paid on time. Which is why in addition to a company phone he also has a company laptop.

And since some of the companies his company does business with are on the other side of the world there have been times when he has to do conference calls or troubleshooting calls late at night.

I trust it's worth it.

Yes.  Like today: he had to call in and take the day off because our bird needed emergency surgery. He'll go in tomorrow for a few hours to make sure anything that needed signing gets signed.

Or the various kidney surgeries I had over the years... he was there.

Or when he needs to be late to work for a doctor appt. Or leave early to see a boy in a school event.

He's on call 24-7.

But that's why he gets paid the big bucks (hah!). (We are doing ok... no island vacations but not eating ramen unless we want to... and we do  8) )
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: blarg314 on September 21, 2013, 01:25:20 AM

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

It's actually pretty common, depending on the type of job.

There's the jobs where you're formally on call - it's part of the job description to have someone phone you up after normal hours, often to go in and fix something (like in IT positions).

There's also jobs where you are salaried, and evaluated by your total performance. So taking work home with you is a necessary part of doing your job well enough to keep it (university professors, for example). Or jobs that deal with time sensitive stuff, so the expectation is that you'll be monitoring your email and responding on evenings and weekends. Or positions like school teachers, who have to do things like marking and preparation at home in the evenings, because there's no time for it during the day.

In my job, I occasionally am asked to work on stuff on the weekend, when it's time critical. I also periodically have mandatory evening or weekend meetings, or multi-national telecons that occur at weird hours. No extra pay, of course, but we sometimes get some unofficial comp time if we end up working all weekend.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: aiki on September 21, 2013, 05:09:00 AM
Since you say your boss is a piece of work, and wasn't surprised at the downloading, I wonder if this is some sort of email app so she can email subordinates outside of work hours and hold you responsible for answering, since it's obviously work related, and on the work email server so there's an audit trail.

My company does have the ability to receive work emails on our cell phones, but as others have stated, it's strictly opt-in, and there are several hoops to jump through.

Can a company demand an employee perform work when they're not at work?

My company does, in certain areas anyway.  On the team I was on previously, all of our work was driven by deadlines set by various state governments.  You were expected to do whatever necessary to meet those deadlines, since missing one could result in fines, threats to the contract, etc.  People working an hour or two from home in the evenings was very common.  We often worked through a weekend to complete a project. Managers tried to compensate with extra time off, but it wasn't always possible.

They've never  heard of the 18th Amendment?

Actually, I was thinking of a situation in which an employee would be at the grocery store or at dinner or the like, would get an e-mail and would be expected to read it and reply right then.

Yes, in IT, its pretty common. If I have two people who administer an application that goes down but I have people in another geographic region needing to use it, it doesn't matter if it's 9pm their local time, I need one of them to log in remotely and get the system back up. It's pretty common in IT actually. Though we try to have global coverage for basic support items, you can't always have senior experts on every issue across all three regions. But it's something you are aware of when you get into IT.

I'm sure people in public relations, HR, and other industries have the same issue. Even office facilities employees may need to respond in the case of an emergency if there has been some type of damage done to the office.

Although, in this neck of the woods at least, a contract that requires employees to be on call like that is worth about an extra $5,000 p/a more than a similar role without the on-call requirement.
 
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: doodlemor on September 21, 2013, 01:29:15 PM
 So she did not notice the IT guy stop by, grab her personal cell phone, and install some sort of data app.  She was flabbergasted when he handed it back to her. 


I'm rather surprised that your co-worker's phone was out where the IT guy could get to it.  Mine would have been in my purse, or perhaps a desk drawer if I were expecting some sort of emergency call.  If I were a supervisor I would look askance at anyone who had their personal phone laying around during work hours.  Perhaps that would make me a mean boss.  Was co-worker listening to  music on the thing while the IT guy was messing with it? Is that possible?

That being said, I think that the IT guy was quite rude and outrageous to take the phone without asking.  I do wonder, though, if he was actually told to get the app on everyone's phone, and was just trying to follow his orders.

I feel very strongly about the right of privacy.  I'd be tempted to change phones even, in case the app couldn't be fully removed, and the company was still tracking my stuff somehow.  Probably I've  just seen too many movies, and am attributing super powers to computers and IT departments.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: OSUJillyBean on September 23, 2013, 12:04:26 PM
So she did not notice the IT guy stop by, grab her personal cell phone, and install some sort of data app.  She was flabbergasted when he handed it back to her. 


I'm rather surprised that your co-worker's phone was out where the IT guy could get to it.  Mine would have been in my purse, or perhaps a desk drawer if I were expecting some sort of emergency call.  If I were a supervisor I would look askance at anyone who had their personal phone laying around during work hours.  Perhaps that would make me a mean boss.  Was co-worker listening to  music on the thing while the IT guy was messing with it? Is that possible?

That being said, I think that the IT guy was quite rude and outrageous to take the phone without asking.  I do wonder, though, if he was actually told to get the app on everyone's phone, and was just trying to follow his orders.

I feel very strongly about the right of privacy.  I'd be tempted to change phones even, in case the app couldn't be fully removed, and the company was still tracking my stuff somehow.  Probably I've  just seen too many movies, and am attributing super powers to computers and IT departments.

Our boss uses her personal smartphone to run a 2nd business during work hours.  People goofing off is tolerated so long as we get our work done.  (I might have 90 minutes of work to do all day and must find other things to keep me occupied for the rest of it.  I'm paid by the hour and required to be here 8 to 5, Monday to Friday).

Earbud coworker just had her phone laying on her desk but wasn't messing with it.  She has an L-shaped desk and had turned away to do her work (with earbuds in) and didn't notice IT guy helping himself to her personal property.

I have no doubt IT guy was just following orders.  Our company makes decisions very high-up that make no sense on our level.  Like, we are required to have a certain number of people employed in our department.  One coworker passed away and another quit over the summer and our boss was forced to hire new people, even though they know we're being downsized around Christmas.  So we hired some lady who will only have this job for about three months and then we all get to apply for own jobs again in a few months.

My place of employment is kind of a mess!
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: magicdomino on September 23, 2013, 12:33:16 PM
I would have really confused that IT guy; I don't have a personal cell phone.   :)

In all fairness, if I didn't have the office-issued phone, I would probably buy one.  And since I hate talking on cell phones, I'd probably buy one that is reasonably bright, if not quite Genius Bar level.  But no one is putting apps on there except me. 
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: starry diadem on September 23, 2013, 05:15:43 PM
OP, I believe you said your co-worker deleted the app and I would love to know if there has been any comeback on that. I just can't fathom the thought process that went " Oh, let's send IT around to mess with people's private property" without any realisation that this goes so far beyond ethical, acceptable behaviour as to be in an entirely different solar system. I just want to understand what your higher ups were thinking, so that I can unflabber my ghast.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: VorFemme on September 23, 2013, 06:09:40 PM
Makes me glad that I only have a semi-smart phone with no data or texting.

And long for the good old days when I had a flip phone and could imagine myself saying "Beam me up, Scotty" whenever I pulled it out and flipped it open.  It didn't need a screen lock - it had a LID.  Not that the lid worked all the time....

Time to take the phone to a teenager or friend who knows how to delete the junk apps - like the one from work!
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Danika on September 23, 2013, 11:55:13 PM
And long for the good old days when I had a flip phone...

I still have and use mine daily. I prefer it because 1) when it's in my back pocket, I don't have to worry about sitting on and cracking my phone's screen 2) it's small and fits in my pocket completely and 3) I don't have to pay for a data rate plan.

I'll be really sad when it breaks. I have a backup that I bought on eBay.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: artk2002 on September 24, 2013, 09:39:56 AM
In my last job we had the opportunity to use our personal smartphone to access the corporate internal network. This would have required a special app, but more importantly, it would have given the company the right to wipe the phone whenever they wanted to. It was to protect their data in case the phone got lost, but the risk of having my personal data deleted was just too great and I opted out.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: OSUJillyBean on September 25, 2013, 11:27:55 AM
OP, I believe you said your co-worker deleted the app and I would love to know if there has been any comeback on that. I just can't fathom the thought process that went " Oh, let's send IT around to mess with people's private property" without any realisation that this goes so far beyond ethical, acceptable behaviour as to be in an entirely different solar system. I just want to understand what your higher ups were thinking, so that I can unflabber my ghast.

Our boss has been out all week but the second-in-command (2IC) has okayed the deletion and was mystified that the IT guy installed it without permission in the first place.

And this sort of thing is par for the course at my work place.  We've been bought out and are transitioning to new management, which I'm hoping will be for the better.  *fingers crossed*
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: starry diadem on September 26, 2013, 02:12:36 AM
OP, I believe you said your co-worker deleted the app and I would love to know if there has been any comeback on that. I just can't fathom the thought process that went " Oh, let's send IT around to mess with people's private property" without any realisation that this goes so far beyond ethical, acceptable behaviour as to be in an entirely different solar system. I just want to understand what your higher ups were thinking, so that I can unflabber my ghast.

Our boss has been out all week but the second-in-command (2IC) has okayed the deletion and was mystified that the IT guy installed it without permission in the first place.

And this sort of thing is par for the course at my work place.  We've been bought out and are transitioning to new management, which I'm hoping will be for the better.  *fingers crossed*


Thank you for letting us know. I hope the new management is better, too, but at least the 2-i-c sounds sensible.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: nayberry on September 26, 2013, 09:03:05 AM
OP, I believe you said your co-worker deleted the app and I would love to know if there has been any comeback on that. I just can't fathom the thought process that went " Oh, let's send IT around to mess with people's private property" without any realisation that this goes so far beyond ethical, acceptable behaviour as to be in an entirely different solar system. I just want to understand what your higher ups were thinking, so that I can unflabber my ghast.

Our boss has been out all week but the second-in-command (2IC) has okayed the deletion and was mystified that the IT guy installed it without permission in the first place.

And this sort of thing is par for the course at my work place.  We've been bought out and are transitioning to new management, which I'm hoping will be for the better.  *fingers crossed*

i'm a little puzzled, why did she have to ask to remove it if she didn't give permission in the first place?

i'd have deleted it as soon as i realised it was there
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Twik on September 26, 2013, 09:47:56 AM
OP, I believe you said your co-worker deleted the app and I would love to know if there has been any comeback on that. I just can't fathom the thought process that went " Oh, let's send IT around to mess with people's private property" without any realisation that this goes so far beyond ethical, acceptable behaviour as to be in an entirely different solar system. I just want to understand what your higher ups were thinking, so that I can unflabber my ghast.

Our boss has been out all week but the second-in-command (2IC) has okayed the deletion and was mystified that the IT guy installed it without permission in the first place.

And this sort of thing is par for the course at my work place.  We've been bought out and are transitioning to new management, which I'm hoping will be for the better.  *fingers crossed*

i'm a little puzzled, why did she have to ask to remove it if she didn't give permission in the first place?

i'd have deleted it as soon as i realised it was there

Because as much as it's in her rights, deleting it without comment might have seemed disrespectful to her employers. Seeing as they're daft enough to put it on in the first place, they're likely to also take offense if someone removes it without authorization.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: jedikaiti on September 26, 2013, 12:21:26 PM
When my job decided it was time to give me a phone, I had 2 options - they would pay for my bills for my existing personal smartphone, or they would buy me the same one they got for everyone else with a new number, completely separate from my personal phone. I chose option #2, and amuse my friends that I run around with 2 different smart phones pretty much all the time. :-)
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: OSUJillyBean on September 26, 2013, 01:24:45 PM
OP, I believe you said your co-worker deleted the app and I would love to know if there has been any comeback on that. I just can't fathom the thought process that went " Oh, let's send IT around to mess with people's private property" without any realisation that this goes so far beyond ethical, acceptable behaviour as to be in an entirely different solar system. I just want to understand what your higher ups were thinking, so that I can unflabber my ghast.

Our boss has been out all week but the second-in-command (2IC) has okayed the deletion and was mystified that the IT guy installed it without permission in the first place.

And this sort of thing is par for the course at my work place.  We've been bought out and are transitioning to new management, which I'm hoping will be for the better.  *fingers crossed*

i'm a little puzzled, why did she have to ask to remove it if she didn't give permission in the first place?

i'd have deleted it as soon as i realised it was there

She did delete it, with overstepping-my-bounds coaxing from me.  Afterwards, she okayed the deletion with 2IC to make 100% sure she wouldn't get in trouble and also to ask what was the deal with the privacy invasion in the first place.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: nayberry on September 26, 2013, 01:45:11 PM
OP, I believe you said your co-worker deleted the app and I would love to know if there has been any comeback on that. I just can't fathom the thought process that went " Oh, let's send IT around to mess with people's private property" without any realisation that this goes so far beyond ethical, acceptable behaviour as to be in an entirely different solar system. I just want to understand what your higher ups were thinking, so that I can unflabber my ghast.

Our boss has been out all week but the second-in-command (2IC) has okayed the deletion and was mystified that the IT guy installed it without permission in the first place.

And this sort of thing is par for the course at my work place.  We've been bought out and are transitioning to new management, which I'm hoping will be for the better.  *fingers crossed*

i'm a little puzzled, why did she have to ask to remove it if she didn't give permission in the first place?

i'd have deleted it as soon as i realised it was there

She did delete it, with overstepping-my-bounds coaxing from me.  Afterwards, she okayed the deletion with 2IC to make 100% sure she wouldn't get in trouble and also to ask what was the deal with the privacy invasion in the first place.

thanks for clarifying

Twik - i saw it as disrespectful to her that it was installed without permission
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Surianne on September 27, 2013, 05:59:44 PM
So did she ever find out what the app was for?  I'm super curious.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: doodlemor on September 27, 2013, 08:59:56 PM
[Cue scary music.........]

Are you 100 % sure that the thing is fully deleted?  I actually asked an IT tech about this, and he said that one would *think* it was gone, but that with the weird things out there that he's read about he'd never be completely sure.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: GwenB on September 29, 2013, 01:52:06 PM
So did she ever find out what the app was for?  I'm super curious.

The mention of "tokens"makes me think it may be something similar to an app we use at my work.  If you want to log onto the company network from outside the office, either from a company laptop or a personal computer, you have to provide a "token code" as well as your password.  The token code is just a string of numbers - you either have the app on your phone or a little key fob that generates the numbers.  They change every minute or something, and are somehow linked to the server, so it is sort of a password that is always changing.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: VorFemme on September 29, 2013, 03:41:10 PM
I signed in to work from home on the night shift when I worked for the car insurance company (short term due to upcoming consolidation of Southeast and Midwest offices about three months after I transferred in and the previous person moved to another job in the company and the night shift guy retired). 

It was easier to set me up with a token to generate passcodes, the software to use on my home computer, and wait until we relocated to the joint office rather than train someone for a month or so to work for less than two months...

It didn't take that long to train me - I was used to using Windows - but the company's proprietary software for in-house bore no resemblance to Windows.

I think that it could have been done more quickly - but apparently there were a few people who wanted to write free-form replies to send without running them by Legal and they NEEDED much better filters on their inner snarky selves than they had.

My Snarky learned to be quiet when in the same room with a general officer and a bunch of full colonels - most people seemed to have Snarkies that only learned to keep quiet around teachers in middle school or high school - not nearly enough pressure to stay covert at all times when at work. 

But my token was about the size of a credit card - I did not have a smartphone - this was in 2000 or early 2001....smartphones were probably not THAT smart yet.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Twik on September 30, 2013, 09:09:25 AM
Twik - i saw it as disrespectful to her that it was installed without permission

Of course it was. However, if one wants to keep one's job, one sometimes has to sacrifice righteous indignation for self-preservation. In other words, the Pointy-Haired Boss who decided it was a good idea to put programs on other people's personal phones might be idjit enough to get upset if one of the owners decided to delete them.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: nayberry on September 30, 2013, 09:37:42 AM
Twik - i saw it as disrespectful to her that it was installed without permission

Of course it was. However, if one wants to keep one's job, one sometimes has to sacrifice righteous indignation for self-preservation. In other words, the Pointy-Haired Boss who decided it was a good idea to put programs on other people's personal phones might be idjit enough to get upset if one of the owners decided to delete them.

and that is why i'm glad that in the UK if you were fired for that it would be a 99.999% probability that you'd win an employment tribunal and damages. 
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: Danika on October 01, 2013, 01:13:45 AM
Twik - i saw it as disrespectful to her that it was installed without permission

Of course it was. However, if one wants to keep one's job, one sometimes has to sacrifice righteous indignation for self-preservation. In other words, the Pointy-Haired Boss who decided it was a good idea to put programs on other people's personal phones might be idjit enough to get upset if one of the owners decided to delete them.

and that is why i'm glad that in the UK if you were fired for that it would be a 99.999% probability that you'd win an employment tribunal and damages.

Nice. In the US, each state has different laws. I live in what is called an "at will" state. They can fire you, or an employee can quit, for absolutely any reason except for the protected ones (gender, race, religion, se*ual orientation, age). So the company could just fire you and then to win a lawsuit you'd not only have to prove a paper trail showing that the company disliked you because you didn't want them messing with your personal phone, but that they also fired you because of it. Good luck with that.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: OSUJillyBean on October 01, 2013, 11:11:44 AM
So did she ever find out what the app was for?  I'm super curious.

I've since found out!  It's completely silly.  All the app does is generate a random password that you need to log into the new (merged) system.  If you don't put the app on your phone, they give you a lanyard with a small plastic thumb-drive-looking thing on the end of it that can also generate the password.  Passwords are changed every few minutes.  Apparently new owner-company is much more serious about security than old company.

So me and Earbud-Coworker both have lanyards now and it would seem the drama is finished.

And I'm the same as Danika - in our area we're technically employed "at will".  However I can speak from experience that the state unemployment office will give out UE funds to anyone who applies, regardless of the circumstances!

Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: katycoo on October 01, 2013, 10:47:08 PM
When my job decided it was time to give me a phone, I had 2 options - they would pay for my bills for my existing personal smartphone, or they would buy me the same one they got for everyone else with a new number, completely separate from my personal phone. I chose option #2, and amuse my friends that I run around with 2 different smart phones pretty much all the time. :-)

Mine just gave me the phone adn permission to use it personally.  I chose to ditch my personal phone.  I'm not doing anything with the phone that woudl worry me if work had a hold of it, and I trust the staff we have not to steal private info.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: jedikaiti on October 01, 2013, 11:09:14 PM
Actually, I probably could have gotten the shiny new phone as a replacement for my existing phone, but I like my existing phone better. And while I'm not too worried about work having my personal info, anything I put on my work phone is theoretically subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and the news does not need to know how many times a day DH and I text kisses to each other. (Literally, we'll type "smooch" or "kiss kiss")
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: snowdragon on October 02, 2013, 12:45:54 PM
I would have refused, too. I just invested in my first really good smartphone. ( an upgrade from the cheapest LG had to offer to an iphone5s) and I would be livid if my job tried to put something on it.  Sorry, work and my life are separate.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: katycoo on October 02, 2013, 08:48:41 PM
Actually, I probably could have gotten the shiny new phone as a replacement for my existing phone, but I like my existing phone better. And while I'm not too worried about work having my personal info, anything I put on my work phone is theoretically subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and the news does not need to know how many times a day DH and I text kisses to each other. (Literally, we'll type "smooch" or "kiss kiss")

Mine personal texts probably are too.  But I'm counting on never being interesting enough that someone would make an FOI application against my phone.
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: jedikaiti on October 02, 2013, 09:08:17 PM
Actually, I probably could have gotten the shiny new phone as a replacement for my existing phone, but I like my existing phone better. And while I'm not too worried about work having my personal info, anything I put on my work phone is theoretically subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and the news does not need to know how many times a day DH and I text kisses to each other. (Literally, we'll type "smooch" or "kiss kiss")

Mine personal texts probably are too.  But I'm counting on never being interesting enough that someone would make an FOI application against my phone.

Yea, but you never know what someone will decide to find interesting...
Title: Re: Company App on Your Personal Smartphone?
Post by: katycoo on October 03, 2013, 01:25:49 AM
Actually, I probably could have gotten the shiny new phone as a replacement for my existing phone, but I like my existing phone better. And while I'm not too worried about work having my personal info, anything I put on my work phone is theoretically subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and the news does not need to know how many times a day DH and I text kisses to each other. (Literally, we'll type "smooch" or "kiss kiss")

Mine personal texts probably are too.  But I'm counting on never being interesting enough that someone would make an FOI application against my phone.

Yea, but you never know what someone will decide to find interesting...

I suppose not.  But I'm not saying anything which would:-

A. Incriminate me in any way
B. Embarrass me particularly if it became public; or
C. That I would even care that much if it became public.

So i figure its safe.